About the Infectious Diseases Zone

Yersinia Pestis. Some scientists think this bacteria caused the famous “black death”. Image: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Infectious diseases are caused by microbes, which are very small, usually single celled organisms. Even though we cannot see them with our bare eyes, microbes are everywhere. Some microbes can make us ill; maybe giving us a cold, flu, or a fungal skin infection.

Some of them hide in food, and can give us a stomach upset, and there are also serious ones which can kill, such us the famous “black death”, which killed around 75 million people in Europe in the 14th century.

There are many different types of microbes; they can be virus, bacteria, fungi or amoeba-like parasites.

In this zone you’ll get to talk to scientists studying a virus which can cause cancer, or helping doctors find out the type of microbe which is giving you a particular illness and choose the best treatment to wipe it out of your system. There will also be scientists looking at why some of us are more likely to get infected by certain types of microorganisms.

You can find out more about the scientists in this zone, and what they work on by reading their profiles. Click on their names at the top of this page to find out more!

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