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There are four kinds of pathogens in the world. A pathogen is something that causes diseases. One pathogen is called bacteria. This pathogen causes strep throat and pinkeye. Another pathogen is called fungus or fungi. Fungus is a plantlike pathogen, but it can't make its own food. It causes athlete's foot and ringworm. There is another pathogen, and this one is most famous for its diseases. The pathogen is called a virus or viruses. It causes the common cold, flu, chicken pox, polio, West Nile virus, and some forms of pinkeye. Viruses also cause rabies in animals. The last pathogen is called protist or protists. This pathogen causes malaria, sleeping sickness, and dysentery. Pathogens may seem scary, but you can't avoid them. They're in the air, soil, water, plants, and animals, so you see just live with them and stay healthy.

(Max November 6, 2008)

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