Where the Germs Are: A Scientific Safari

Overview

A guided tour through the strange and sometimes dangerous microscopic world
Germs are everywhere?in our intestines and on our skin as well as on kitchen counters, public toilets, doorknobs, and just about everything else. Why are there so many microorganisms? Which ones are dangerous? And how can we avoid the ones that will make us sick? This entertaining and informative book provides the answers. Profiling a rogue's gallery of harmful germs?from the influenza virus, salmonella,...

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Where the Germs Are: A Scientific Safari

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Overview

A guided tour through the strange and sometimes dangerous microscopic world
Germs are everywhere—in our intestines and on our skin as well as on kitchen counters, public toilets, doorknobs, and just about everything else. Why are there so many microorganisms? Which ones are dangerous? And how can we avoid the ones that will make us sick? This entertaining and informative book provides the answers. Profiling a rogue's gallery of harmful germs—from the influenza virus, salmonella, and herpes to hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV—as well as helpful microbes (we actually need E. Coli and other bacteria for proper digestion), the book reveals how different germs interact with the human body and what happens when they do.
Nicholas Bakalar (New York, NY) is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Hepatitis A to G and Wiping Out Head Lice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* In the last 12 months Americans have watched as germs made the headlines: anthrax, West Nile virus, bubonic plague and outbreaks of illness on cruise ships. Bakalar (Hepatitis A to G) explains where the enemy is lurking and how to defeat it. The most likely place to find bacteria? On, and in, your own body - but many of these are actually beneficial or at least benign. The kitchen is the main battleground in the home in the war against salmonella and campylobacter. Many foods come from the market carrying a battalion of germs, but Bakalar discusses the safest ways to chop, cook and clean up to minimize the risk. The bathroom is second as a home health hazard. Flushing the toilet actually aerosolizes water droplets (and germs), so put the seat and lid down, guys. Bakalar discusses potential health risks from pets: dogs are the safest, but you might want to think twice about iguanas and other reptiles. His excellent chapter on childhood diseases and vaccines should be required reading for parents, and teenagers should be plunked down in a chair with the chapter on sexually transmitted diseases. Bakalar doesn't miss much: he overlooks histoplasmosis, a significant health problem in towns with birds roosting on downtown buildings, and he leaves out anthrax although he discusses smallpox. His writing is witty, and he gives all the details of germs and illnesses without medical school jargon. In short, according to this book, the best defense against germs is what your mother always told you: Wash your hands. Often. (Jan.) (Publishers Weekly, December 23, 2002)
Publishers Weekly
In the last 12 months Americans have watched as germs made the headlines: anthrax, West Nile virus, bubonic plague and outbreaks of illness on cruise ships. Bakalar (Hepatitis A to G) explains where the enemy is lurking and how to defeat it. The most likely place to find bacteria? On, and in, your own body-but many of these are actually beneficial or at least benign. The kitchen is the main battleground in the home in the war against salmonella and campylobacter. Many foods come from the market carrying a battalion of germs, but Bakalar discusses the safest ways to chop, cook and clean up to minimize the risk. The bathroom is second as a home health hazard. Flushing the toilet actually aerosolizes water droplets (and germs), so put the seat and lid down, guys. Bakalar discusses potential health risks from pets: dogs are the safest, but you might want to think twice about iguanas and other reptiles. His excellent chapter on childhood diseases and vaccines should be required reading for parents, and teenagers should be plunked down in a chair with the chapter on sexually transmitted diseases. Bakalar doesn't miss much: he overlooks histoplasmosis, a significant health problem in towns with birds roosting on downtown buildings, and he leaves out anthrax although he discusses smallpox. His writing is witty, and he gives all the details of germs and illnesses without medical school jargon. In short, according to this book, the best defense against germs is what your mother always told you: Wash your hands. Often. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471155898
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/6/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

NICHOLAS BAKALAR is a New York-based writer and book editor. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Understanding Teenage Depression, Hepatitis A to G, Wiping Out Head Lice, and AIDS and People with Severe Mental Illness.
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Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. Microbes: An Introduction.

2. Hungry? Let's Eat: The Contaminated Kitchen.

3. Toilet Training: Washing Hands Is the Best Revenge.

4. Whiter Whites and Brighter Colors: Healthy Laundry.

5. Clean Up That Room: Kids and Microbes.

6. What Love's Got to Do with It: Microbes and Your Sex Life.

7. Wild Kingdom: Pets and Their Germs.

8. Up Your Nose: The Flu and the Cold.

9. Bottled or Tap: Water, and What's in It.

10. Fresh Air and Sunshine: Outdoor Fun with Microbes.

11. Paint the Town Red: Germs in Public Places.

12. The Antiseptic Supermarket: Products That Do Something, Products That Do Nothing, and Products That Actually Do Harm.

Glossary.

Notes.

Index.

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