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Lewes, Delaware
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February 21, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 2006

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I m s CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, Feb. 21 - Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006 - 29 Seniors tend to get fewer fevers when they're ill HEALTHY GEEZER Fred Cicetti Fred Cicetti, a first'class geezer over 60 who writes a health column for senior cit- izens. To ask a question, send an email to fredci- i virus's genes surrounded by a pro- tein coat. Most viruses cause dis- ease. They invade normal cells then multiply. A fungus is a primitive veg- etable. There are millions of types of fungi. The most familiar ones are mushrooms, yeast, mold and mildew. Some live in the human body, usually without causing ill- neSs. In fact, only about half of all types of fungi cause disease in humans. Penicillin and other antibiotics, which kill harmful bacteria in our bodies, are made from fungi. Protozoa are a group of micro- scopic one-celled animals. In humans, protozoa usually cause Q.: I remember having lots of fevers as a kid, but now that I'm older, I don't get them like I used to. What gives? A.: The immune system doesn't function as efficiently in older adults as it does in younger peo- ple. The body's-fever response to infection is not always automatic in elderly people. More than 20 percent of adults older than age 65 who have serious bacterial infec- tions do not have fevers. This brings us to germs, which are defined as microbes that cause disease. Infectious diseases caused by microbes are the lead- ing cause of death. Microbes are microscopic organisms that are everywhere. Some microbes cause disease. Others are essential for health. Most microbes belong to one of four major groups: bacteria, virus- es, fungi or protozoa. Bacteria are made up of only one cell. Less than 1 percent of them cause diseases in humans. Harmless bacteria live in human intestines, where they help to digest food. Foods such as yogurt and cheese, are made using bacte- ria. Some bacteria produce danger- ous poisons. Botulism, a severe form of food poisoning, is caused by toxins from bacteria. However, several vaccines are made from bacterial toxins. Viruses are among the smallest microbes. They consist of one or more molecules that contain the Breast health is topic Feb. 28 in Lewes Mytia Clarke of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) will present A Breast Health Presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Lewes Public Library. Clarke will lead a discussion on breast health, including early detection and practice on a breast model. To register for the program, call 645-4633 or email info@lewesli- According to the American Cancer Society, Delaware.was the third highest state in the United States for breast cancer mortality rates in 2004. The DBCC is committed to making a positive difference by raising awareness about early detection and treatment of breast cancer. This program is free and open to the public. disease. Some protozoa, like plankton, are food for marine ani- mals. Malaria is caused by a pro- tozoan parasite. You can get infected by germs from other people in many differ- ent ways, including transmission common insect carriers of disease. Mosquitoes can transmit malaria. Fleas that pick up bacteria from rodents can then transmit plague to humans. The tiny deer tick can infect humans with Lyme disease. We become immune to germs through the air from coughing or : naturally and artificially. Before sneezing, direct contact such as birth, we received natural immu- kissing or sexual intercourse, and nity from our mothers. Once we touching infectious material on a are exposed to a germ, wedevelop doorknob, telephone, automated natural immunity to it from spe- teller machine or a diaper. A variety of germs come from household pets. Dog and cat sali- va can contain any of more than 100 different germs that can make you sick. , Mosquitoes may be the most cial cells in our immune Systems. Artificial immunity can come from vaccines. Most infections caused by microbes fall into three major groups: acute infections, chronic infections and latent infections. The common cold is an acute infection. Hepatitis C, which affects the liver, is a chronic viral infection. Chickenpox is an example of a latent infection that can emerge many years later and causes a dis- ease called shingles. Handwashing is a simple and effective way to stop the transmis- sion of germs. Health-care experts recommend scrubbing your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds with soap and water. It is especially important to wash your hands before touching food, after coughing or sneezing, after changing a diaper and after using the toilet. i!ii i!!ii ii!iill !I i iiiii!S"ii00 We're cetebra00ng 60 years of quality eye care Stop by any of our 8 locations to WiN I IlXm AAJmL 60 Years of Eye Care " WI i11 i. Laser V'on Correction Surgery I II-IJ%..lll I NASCAR NEXTEL CUPickets and much more .... 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