Understanding Infections Audiobook

Zainab and Theo's science homework turns into a journey into the human body where they learn about the causes of infections and how to fight them, in this audiobook version of our award-winning comic book Understanding Infections.

November 22, 2017

Rebecca: Hi there and welcome to a special audiobook installment of Jumo’s In My Words podcast series.

At Jumo, we produce everything from comic books that explain difficult medical conditions, to videos where families share practical insight and their stories of hope. Learning how to manage life after a diagnosis can be stressful and confusing, and we aim to make that a little easier. 

Ok, let’s get started. Today’s story comes from our Understanding Infections comic book. Listen in as Zainab and Theo’s science homework turns into a journey through the human body.

Theo: This is so boring!

Zainab: It’s homework, Theo, I’m pretty sure there’s a law that says it has to be boring.

Theo: But why, Zainab? I’ll never need to know about-

Axon: Germs!

They’re invading Mediland and I need your help to stop them! Also, hello!

Theo: Umm, hi.

Zainab: Whoa, Axon of the Medikidz!

What’s going on?

Axon: Not much time, so I’ll explain while we prep. Here, take these.

Okay, as you know germs cause infections and can make you feel unwell.

Other names for germs are bugs, or microbes, because they’re so tiny they can only be seen by looking through a microscope.

Theo: Right, they’re super tiny. So why are we getting ready for a war?

Axon: Because Mediland’s germs...are much bigger! These are the four main types of germs. Different germs cause different types of infections.


Bacteria: for infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis


Virus: for infections like measles and HIV


Fungus: for infections like athlete’s foot


Parasite: for infections like malaria

Different infections affect your body in different ways. Take the common cold, for example, it tends to go away by itself in a few days.

But then there are tougher infections like meningitis that can make you very sick. To fight off these germs, you’ll need to take medicines.

Narrator (robot voice): Alert! Alert! Germs have penetrated Mediland’s defenses.


Theo: Red flashing lights and a yelling robot voice - never a good sign!

Axon: Indeed! Normally your skin acts as a barrier to germs. But if you have a cut, germs can get inside.

That’s why it’s very important to keep cuts clean. Germs can get into your body by other routes too.

Come on, we need to get down to Mediland and stop those germs!

Narrator: Inside Mediland, a planet that looks and works just like the human body.

Theo: Looks like the bacteria party started without us!

Zainab: Yeah, who are those guys?

Axon: They are your white blood cells, which are part of your immune system. The immune system’s job is to to travel around the body getting rid of germs.

White Blood Cell: There’s too many of them! We need to retreat and regroup!

Zainab: Umm, guys, the cells that are supposed to fight off germs are retreating! That’s bad, right? I’d put that in the bad category!

Axon: Sometimes the body can’t fight off the germs on its own, which is why you need medicines.

Different medicines kill different germs. Antibiotics are medicines that only work for bacterial infections.

They wouldn’t work on something like a cold because it’s caused by a virus.

Germ: HAHAHA! I’ve faced antibiotics before! Now they just tickle!

Zainab: What’s happening? Why isn’t it working?!

Axon: Sometimes you’ll get what’s called antibiotic resistant bacteria that can make you really sick!

See, if you don’t take all the doses of antibiotics you are given, only the weak bacteria will die, and the strong bacteria will not only survive, but learn how to resist antibiotics and become even stronger!

If serious infections aren’t treated, the germs can spread across your whole body giving you something called sepsis. This means you’ll have to go to hospital until you’re better.

But we’re not going to let that happen!


Axon: That’s the last of the germs. Let’s head back!


Narrator: A quick teleportation back to Mediland...


Theo: Okay, I can now see how tiny germs can make big problems!

Axon: There are two main ways to protect yourself from germs. The first type is vaccinations, and you get these as injections, shots, or by mouth.

White Blood Cell: Take a good look, boys! This is the face of the enemy!

Axon: Vaccines work by injecting a tiny amount of a weakened or killed germ into your body so your immune system learns to recognise that germ.

This way, if the germ ever attacks, your immune system can fight it off very quickly so you don’t get sick.

The second and most important way to protect yourself from germs is to wash your hands!

First things first, wet your hands with water!

Next, cover your hands in soap.

Now, lets spread that soap! Start by rubbing your hands together palm to palm. Do the same with left palm on top of right hand!

Rub your hands palm to palm with your fingers laced together.

Now get the back of your fingers by rubbing them palm to palm with your fingers curled in.

Clasp your left thumb with your right palm and rotate your thumb. Then switch!

Rub your right palm in a circle around your left thumb, and vice versa.

Clasp the fingers of your right hand into your left palm and rub backwards and forwards. Do this with both hands!

Finally, rinse with water!

Dry thoroughly with a paper towel.

Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet.

You did it! Your hands are now germ free!

To keep yourself safe from germs, you should wash your hands before eating, after touching animals, after playing outside, after using the bathroom, and after you cough or sneeze.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue. Remember: catch it, kill it, and bin it!

Catch the germs by using a tissue, throw that tissue in the bin, and kill the germs by washing your hands with soap and water.

Now that you’re germ experts, I’ll send you back home!

Narrator: A few days later…

Teacher: Top marks on your germ homework! You two must have studied really hard!

Theo: Studied hard, went to an alien planet... same thing, right?!

Rebecca: Thanks for listening! We'll be adding new episodes all the time. We also take requests, so if you have a great topic, let us know! Who knows, we may even interview you!  Visit us at JumoHealth.com.

In My Words is produced in New York City and distributed worldwide.

In My Words - A Jumo production.