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How do you explain viruses to kids?

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Viruses are a type of germ. They're very tiny, and when they get inside your body, they can make you sick. Viruses cause colds, chicken pox, measles, flu, and many other diseases. Unfortunately, antibiotics don't work on viruses like they do on bacteria.

Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of viruses, especially before you eat and after you use the bathroom.

Viruses are so tiny that people can see them only with powerful microscopes. Some viruses have a spherical, or round, shape. Others are shaped like rods. Viruses are made up mostly of a substance called nucleic acid surrounded by protein.

Fever is one important way that the human body fights viruses.

The body’s immune system also fights viruses. It produces white blood cells and substances called antibodies to attack viruses.

Doctors use vaccines to prevent many diseases caused by viruses.

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