Infections

Understanding the "Fearbola" Infection

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.27.2014 | Canada Impact
Jason Tetro

The extent of the infection of the public mindset inevitably rises towards the apex of a full-blown panic. At this point, the reaction is given a name as if it has become its own threat. In this case, the word was an almost too perfect mix of the reaction and the cause: Fearbola. But as seen in the last week, once the apex has been reached, there is no other direction to go than down back towards calm.

Stopping Ebola Requires Commitment and Compliance

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.13.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

The recent news of yet another American case of Ebola in Dallas is without a doubt concerning. To stop Ebola, whether in a Dallas hospital or the affected countries in West Africa, what is needed is not only compliance, but also commitment.

How Oxygen Can Be Used to Clear the Air

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.05.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Based on studies dating back almost 40 years pathogens can become airborne in almost every environment. Once there, they can spread to unsuspecting victims leaving them vulnerable to illness.

What You Need To Know About the Fast-Spreading Respiratory Virus EVD68

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.28.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg Whatever the reasons for this epidemic, there are a few signs of hope. Like the common cold and flu, infection is entirely preventable by washing the hands with soap and water as well as regularly disinfecting surfaces. Should an infection occur, there is still only a small chance it could get worse;

How To Prepare for Back To S̶c̶h̶o̶o̶l̶ Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.17.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

The complaints of a cold, the dread of diarrhea, and vexation of vomiting are all part of a child's growing up process. But one of the keys to a happy school year is to have these unfortunate events happen as infrequently as possible. For that, kids have to be hygienic and stay that way.

The Long-Term Trauma of Gastrointestinal Infection

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.19.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Most of us have experienced at one time or another that rumble in the gastrointestinal jungle. But there is a darker side to these maladies manifesting at the microbial level. Though we may not feel these consequences in the short term, research has shown there may be more difficult times down the road.

You'll Get Sick Less If You Spend More Time in the Great Outdoors

Jason Tetro | Posted 08.01.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

Our efforts to stay clean have hampered us, leaving us with no opportunity for continual exposure to those lower levels of bacteria. As a result, when we do come into contact with them -- such as eating contaminated food -- we tend to have an increased chance of becoming ill.

Did You Know Supermarket Loyalty Programs Have Public Health Rewards?

Jason Tetro | Posted 07.12.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

Knowing the source of the virus, the team sent out an advisory to the general public concerning the risk of consuming the berries and hoped they would not be dealing with a large-scale problem. Thankfully, only a few more cases appeared; they too had come into contact with the contaminated culprit.

Washing Your Hands Can Help Save Lives

Jason Tetro | Posted 07.04.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

However, one action, hand hygiene, learned in our youth has an incredible ability to keep us healthy, but also to ensure an even safer world. Because of this link between hand hygiene and health, the WHO has set aside May 5th as a day for celebration of this part of our daily life.

Otters Aren't Just Adorable, They Matter to Human Health

Jason Tetro | Posted 06.21.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg Otters have a link to humans. They can help us identify public health problems related to pollution and infections. Though they live a different lifestyle than us, their mammalian nature allows the opportunity to study what could happen to us as our world changes.

Twerk All You Want, Just Don't Get a Lip Tattoo Like Miley's

Jason Tetro | Posted 05.31.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg When it comes to the climb of pop stardom, Miley Cyrus has proven she can't be tamed. Earlier this month, the singer posted a photo showing a new tattoo in a rather unlikely place: her lower lip. Unlike the other maneuvers, which may have social consequences, this one could lead to medical problems.

The Surprising Way Bacteria 'Talks' To Each Other

Jason Tetro | Posted 05.16.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg The results suggested bacteria are continually in communication with one another. When times get dire, they attempt to find anyone who might have resistance and be willing to pass it on. Once there is a yes, a crowd appears, all hoping for the same gift. Once they get it, they head off to do the same.

The Beach Is Great for Sun, Surf and...Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 05.09.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg Many of us cannot wait for Mother Nature and journey to one of a plethora of pleasant places famous for their warmth. Amongst the most popular destinations, including Florida, California and the Caribbean, exist some of the most desirable beaches where millions congregate to take in the joys of sun, sea, sand, and unfortunately germs.

Revisiting An Age-Old Thai Therapy to Relieve Diarrhea

Jason Tetro | Posted 04.19.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Back in 1913, the Thai Army suffered from an outbreak of dysentery and searched for any possible option to control the scourge. At the time, a local traditional medicine expert offered the troops what he called Krisanaklan Trakilane.Ninety-nine years later, the components of the wonder drug were finally isolated.

Using Colour to Help Diagnose Sepsis

Jason Tetro | Posted 04.11.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgColour can be used as a powerful identification tool. Even our personal feelings can be described in colourful ways. If we're feeling melancholy, we're blue; if we're jealous, we're green with envy. But there has been one environment where colour has traditionally been less than useful: medical diagnostics.

Viruses Are Perfect Gift Wrappers

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.14.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

In the microbial world, gift wrapping -- better known as cellular packaging -- is also considered to be an art. All germs perform some aspects of packaging but the masters are without a doubt the viruses. Viruses are unique from all other germs in that they don't start to thrive until they have entered a host cell.

Starting to Get Sick? Treat Your Body Like a Car

Dr. Meghan Walker | Posted 02.02.2014 | Canada Living
Dr. Meghan Walker

We wouldn't ignore our car's gas light for days or weeks at a time. In the very least, we wouldn't be surprised if our ignorance of the warning light resulted in our car being side-lined because we had run out of fuel. So why do we treat our most precious asset, our health, with the disregard afforded to that old clunker, hand-me-down car.

Meet the Germs That Infect Your Water

Jason Tetro | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgThe incidence of waterborne infections from the home water supply is rare but this trend of infection due to biofilm formation in the plumbing is showing up not only in the home but also in our travels and in our healthcare leaving many either infected or worse.

Good C-DIFF Agents May Keep Our Homeland Safe

Jason Tetro | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg The date was 2004, and the setting a hospital in Quebec. When BI/NAP1/027 struck, the world was taken aback by an incredible ferocity that infected over 1,700 people and left hundreds dead. But this was only the beginning as TCD and BI/NAP1/027 have since spread worldwide. But what can be done to stop this rogue germ agent?

Back to School: Keep Your Kids Safe From Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.09.2013 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgAccording to some advertisements, back to school is the most wonderful time of the year. But for many parents, the dawn of the school year can also mark a much less joyous time, filled with sniffles, coughs, and diarrhea.

Swimming Can Be Infectious - How to Stay Healthy

Jason Tetro | Posted 07.19.2013 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Of all the places to which sun seekers migrate, none is as popular as the beach or swimming pool. For many, there is nothing quite like becoming one with the water. Unfortunately, the escape comes with its own challenges, namely that of infections.

The Top Five Food Germs Battle it Out

Jason Tetro | Posted 01.26.2013 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg Researchers took a selection of 14 foodborne pathogens and compared them based on the number of illness caused, the number of hospitalizations, the cost of illness and what's known as the cost to a person's quality of life. One by one, the pathogens demonstrated their abilities and slowly, several started to emerge from the rest of the pack, leaving a top five.

Can Licking a Handrail Make You Sick?

Jason Tetro | Posted 12.08.2012 | Canada
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgFor a teenager in New York City, one dollar was enough to lick the entire handrail of a staircasetes in a subway station. While these stories make for great headlines, there is one underlying question that never seems to be answered: can a contaminated surface lead to actual infection?

The Evil Way Your Eyes Fend Off Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 12.01.2012 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgThe eye is a complex organ and has developed a unique means to fight off germs. The eye has its own separate immune function to tackle a potential infection, which is called immune privilege. Research has since learned exactly how these peptides went about killing their enemies although the results are better placed in a Clive Barker novel -- AMPs manifest the well-known concept of death by a million paper cuts...

The Germy Side of Toilet Training

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.23.2012 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg The process of convincing a 18- to 36-month-old child to give up the freedom of a diaper and learn to use the strangely shaped porcelain bathroom furniture is not for the faint of heart. While the problems may seem humourous to many, including parents who have already gone through the nightmare, there are potentially germy consequences that need to be considered.