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Jason Tetro

Microbiology, Health & Hygiene Expert

Since he was a teenager, Jason Tetro has called the laboratory his second home. His experience in microbiology and immunology has taken him into several fields including bloodborne, food and water pathogens; environmental microbiology; disinfection and antisepsis; and emerging pathogens such as SARS, avian flu, and Zika virus. He currently is a visiting scientist at the University of Guelph.

In the public, Jason is better known as The Germ Guy, and regularly offers his at times unconventional perspective on science in the media. Jason has written two books, The Germ Code, which was shortlisted as Science Book of The Year (2014) and The Germ Files, which spent several weeks on the national bestseller list. He has also co-edited, The Human Microbiome Handbook, which provides an academic perspective on the impact of microbes in human health. He lives in Toronto.
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Here's The Reason Mumps Has Made A Comeback

Despite the success of vaccines, mumps wasn't eradicated. Small pockets of infection continued to appear. These small outbreaks were difficult to control but eventually burned out such that they disappeared. For the most part, these isolated events were considered part of the ongoing reality of an ever-present virus.
03/06/2017 09:27 EST
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How Travel Helps Antibiotic Resistance Spread Around The World

Though infections can affect almost any area of the body, on average, about half of the troubles are gastrointestinal, usually in the form of traveller's diarrhea. While this condition usually is not life-threatening, the symptoms certainly can ruin a vacation. Thankfully, most of these troubles are caused by bacteria and can be treated with a simple antibiotic prescription. Within a few days, the pain and those runs fade away allowing individuals to continue enjoying their trip.
02/20/2017 06:31 EST
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We Are One Step Closer To A Syphilis Vaccine

As Valentine's Day approaches, most Canadians turn their thoughts to love and all that comes with it. However, for public health officials, this year is particularly worrisome in the love department. It's all due to the rather unwelcome realization sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise in this country and are showing no signs of slowing.
02/13/2017 09:15 EST
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We May Soon Have A Trojan Horse To Defeat Cancer

Until about ten years ago, the only weapons we had against this internal enemy were surgery, chemicals and radiation. But around that time, researchers began a quest to use more natural means to identify these antagonistic agents and rid them. Two very different strategies were initiated in the process. One relied on repurposing an already known enemy while the other utilized our own internal defense forces.
02/06/2017 08:14 EST
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Why Colds And The Flu Feel Worse At Night

As cold and flu season continues to rage across the country, many Canadians are dealing with a rather frustrating conundrum. During the day, they seem to fare well with the infection but as soon as bedtime arrives, the situation worsens. The aches and pains return, the nasal passages fill up with mucus, and that infernal coughing comes back with a vengeance.
01/23/2017 03:15 EST
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The Flu May Be Trickier Than We Thought

It's the middle of flu season and as expected, the virus is making its way through Canada. Thousands of people are struggling with the coughs, fever, and fatigue and looking for ways to deal with the weeks of suffering. Recently, a group of American researchers have shown a new means by which flu can survive and spread.
01/13/2017 01:18 EST
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Keep Your New Year's Eve Party Hygienic

In Canada, the December marks the arrival of several infectious respiratory viruses, such as the dreaded influenza virus. Depending on what part of the country you call home, other names such as rhinovirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, coronavirus, and human metapneumovirus are circulating amongst the population.
12/28/2016 09:09 EST
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'Proteobiotics' May Keep Your Dog Healthy

Research into the gastrointestinal health of dogs has revealed their microbial populations are quite different from ours. However, being mammals, their microbial populations develop in the same way as us. This also means they can benefit from a selection of bacterial species known to convey a health benefit otherwise known as probiotics.
12/19/2016 11:06 EST
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How A Scarf (Or Necktube) Will Save You From Germs

As the temperature continues to plunge this winter, many Canadians will turn to scarves -- and more recently necktubes -- to keep their necks and faces warm. These swatches of fabric ensure those areas left open by jackets and coats are kept safe from the prevailing winds and wayward flakes of snow. Yet, they may serve another purpose as protectors of our health.
12/12/2016 04:40 EST
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How Microbes May Control Our Body's Inner Clock

Though the circadian rhythm is hard to control directly, researchers have learned it can be trained indirectly through diet. By switching the timing and content of meals, we can change that inner clock to better reflect the world outside. How exactly food can change our rest patterns happens has been difficult to figure out yet over the past few years, one particular culprit has been identified: our microbial population.
12/05/2016 07:41 EST
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Probiotics May Help Alzheimer's Patients

The premise of a microbial-brain link suggests restoring gut microbial balance might be able to improve a healthy brain. Yet, figuring out the best method to accomplish this goal has been a challenge. One of the more promising routes involves fecal transplantation. Yet this method has yet to gain significant approval and has not been tested in regards to Alzheimer's disease.
11/21/2016 02:52 EST
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Psychobiotics Could One Day Relieve Your Stress

Defining a role for microbes in stress has represented a major shift in the concept of dealing with this intrinsic part of daily life. By using probiotics with mental health benefit -- also known as psychobiotics -- people may be able to alter their stress levels by ingesting a probiotic formula.
11/14/2016 12:01 EST