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When a pathogen is trying to get into your body, the first line defenses come to the rescue. The first line defense gets rid of the pathogens going into your body. Unbroken skin, tears, mucus, tiny hairs, stomach acid, and saliva are first line defenses. Unbroken skin keeps pathogens out of your body, so if you have a cut on your skin, wash it with soap and water and cover it with a bandage. Did you know that tears can wash away dust particles that might contain some pathogens? To kill pathogens, tears contain substances. Mucus is gross, but it is helpful to your body. Dust and pathogens can get to your throat, but something can stop them! Mucus has a moist coating that can trap the dust and pathogens. Did you know that tiny hairs in your nose can trap dust and pathogens that you inhale? When you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose, you are getting rid of pathogens. Cilia, in your windpipe, can trap particles when you are breathing. When you spit, you are spitting saliva. Saliva makes it easier to swallow food, and it can protect you from illness because it has a strong chemical that can destroy pathogens. Acids in your stomach help you break down food and can be strong enough to kill the pathogens that might be in the food you ate. First line defenses keep you from getting sick.

If the first line defense can't stop the pathogens from entering your body, the second line defense comes to help. White blood cells, antibodies, and vaccine are second line defenses. White blood cells are blood cells that surround and destroy pathogens. Some blood cells surround and destroy in your bloodstream, and others go to your body tissue to kill pathogens. Did you know that antibodies are like soldiers fighting pathogens to save your body? If you have or had the measles virus, your body will start making antibodies that fight measles. Measles antibodies stay in your body all the time, and if measles tries to attack again, you will not get the disease. A vaccine gives you immunity, and you won't get sick from it. Have you ever received vaccines for measles, mumps, chicken pox, or polio? Vaccines are helpful because they protect you from getting some diseases for the rest of your life. Sometimes, you need to get a booster which will continue to protect you. Second line defenses help you to survive.

(Emily November 19, 2008)

Our body is protected by the first line defenses. Some of the defenses include unbroken skin, saliva, mucus, tears, stomach acid, and cilia, the hair in your nose. The unbroken skin blocks off most of the pathogen from getting in. Saliva has a special chemical to kill germs. Mucus lines the throat and mouth so it can trap dust. Tears have a type of chemical that will kill a lot of pathogens. Stomach acid is a powerful item that will kill most of the pathogens. Cilia, also known as hair that is in your nose, trap the bacteria the air you breathe in. The first- line defense is a protected line that is always helpful to us!

(Ivan January 17,2012)

What happens if a pathogen gets past your first line defenses? Still, your body has to fight off the invaders, so that’s when your second line defenses come in. Your second line defenses are your white blood cells, antibodies, and vaccines.

White blood cells are blood cells that fight illness if pathogens get into the body. Some white blood cells surround and destroy pathogen in your blood. They can also move out of the bloodstream into body tissues to attack pathogens.

An antibody is a substance that your body makes to fight a pathogen as it’s attacking you. Suppose you get the measles. Your body starts to make antibodies that fight the measles right away. The measles antibodies stay inside of your body after you are well. If the measles virus attacks you again, the antibodies that you made the first time will prevent you from getting the disease again. Once your body makes antibodies against a certain disease, you are immune to the disease. To be immune means to be protected from that disease.

A vaccine is a substance that makes you immune to a disease without having to get the disease. You have probably received vaccines for measles, mumps, chicken pox, and polio. Some vaccines provide immunity for your whole life. Others need to be followed up by a booster to keep the person immune to a disease.

(Katelyn February 10, 2012)

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