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2 monkeypox cases confirmed in Quebec — the first in Canada – CBC.ca

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Two cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Quebec, the first such cases in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

The agency says it has alerted public health authorities around Canada to look for symptoms in patients, regardless of whether they’ve travelled.

“This is an evolving and ongoing investigation, both in Canada and around the world,” PHAC said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, Montreal’s top public health official urged people not to panic as her department investigated 17 cases of suspected monkeypox in the greater Montreal region.

Dr. Mylène Drouin said there were 15 suspected cases on the island of Montreal, one on the South Shore and another north of Laval.

It’s not clear if the two cases confirmed by PHAC are among those 17.

“Most of our cases are not severe,” said Drouin. 

Until now, monkeypox outbreaks have been limited mostly to central and western Africa, but in recent weeks, suspected cases have been identified in the U.S., U.K., Portugal and Spain.

WATCH | How the virus is transmitted:

Montrealers ‘do not have to panic’ over monkeypox: public health

15 hours ago

Duration 3:35

Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal’s public health director, said there are 17 suspected cases in the region, but they’re not highly contagious.

Drouin said the first cases in Montreal were reported on May 12 by clinics specializing in sexually transmitted diseases. She said those cases are tied mostly to men aged 30 to 55 who have had sexual relations with other men.

The virus is not sexually transmitted, Drouin explained, but is mainly spread “by close contact and [respiratory] droplets.”

It is also spread by open sores, contact with bodily fluids, or by touching contaminated clothes or bedding. 

“It’s not something that you can acquire when you [do your groceries] or on public transportation,” she said.   

Drouin described those at risk of contracting the virus as “those in the same household and sexual partners.” She urged anyone with symptoms to consult a doctor.

A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus, is seen at 50X magnification on day four of rash development in 1968. (Handout/Reuters)

The news conference came after Quebec’s Health Ministry said late Wednesday it had been notified of a person with a confirmed case of monkeypox who had travelled to the province. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a single case of monkeypox on Wednesday in a man who had recently travelled to Canada. Drouin said several of the cases in Montreal have been linked to the traveller who came from Boston.

Cautious optimism

Likened to a milder form of smallpox, monkeypox is a rare viral illness that typically begins with symptoms such as fever, headache, backache and fatigue — similar to symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu. But doctors say the most noticeable symptom is a rash or lesions on the skin.

“They’re very specific: they look like mini-volcanoes,” said Dr. Robert Pilarski, a family physician at Clinique Médicale La Licorne in Montreal, who has treated several recent suspected monkeypox patients.

Pilarski said the four patients he’s seen have presented with lesions around their genitals. He recommends anyone with flu-like symptoms and “eruptions on the skin” to isolate immediately. 

The incubation period for monkeypox is between seven to 14 days, according to the doctor, but it can be as short as five days and as long as 21. A person is likely to be contagious one day before symptoms appear, he said. 

Symptoms of one of the first known human cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient’s hand in 2003. (CDC/Getty Images)

According to the World Health Organization, there are two distinct clades, or strains, of the monkeypox virus — the Central African (Congo Basin) strain and the West African strain. 

Pilarski said he’s seeing what appears to be a less-contagious strain of the virus, which is giving him hope that it will not be widespread.

“We [likely] have the western virus, which is less contagious. So I’m pretty much sure this is going to be a milder course of disease,” said Pilarski. “But we cannot eliminate the possibility of serious complications.” 

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says infections with the Congo Basin strain can be fatal in as many as one in 10 people, infections with the West African strain can be fatal in about one in 100 people. Rates can be higher in people who have weakened immune systems.

Smallpox vaccine a potential option

Montreal public health officials don’t believe the virus will circulate in the community, since it’s not highly infectious, Drouin said.

She said all people with suspected cases are in isolation and have been asked to cover their skin lesions with bandages.

Asked about potential treatments for the illness, Drouin said there are no specific remedies available in Canada, “so it is painful, but mainly, the forms that we have right now are not severe forms of the illness.”

Dr. Geneviève Bergeron, Montreal’s medical officer responsible for health emergencies and infectious diseases, said there’s reason to believe people who received the smallpox vaccine as children may have a better chance at fighting off monkeypox. 

However, routine immunization programs against smallpox ended in Canada in the early 1970s.

In the U.K., some health-care workers and people who have been in contact with cases have been offered a smallpox vaccine as protection.

Montreal health authorities said they don’t yet know how many people in the city received the smallpox vaccine as children, and a similar course of action to the U.K. won’t be taken just yet. 

“First, we have to see if we have access to a vaccine, so it’s going to be a decision that is made at the provincial and federal level,” said Drouin. 

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‘Heartbreaking’: Afghan-Canadians say earthquake could make humanitarian crisis worse

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Some Afghan-Canadians say they are worried Wednesday’s magnitude 6 earthquake in eastern Afghanistan could heighten the country’s already dire humanitarian crisis.

Afghan state media said the earthquake’s death toll is now 1,150, with about 3,000 people injured, after a 4.2 magnitude aftershock took more lives on Friday. Close to 3,000 homes have also been destroyed or badly damaged, according to the reports.

“I was very shattered,” said Nooria Kamran, the co-founder and executive director of Children Without Borders, an Afghan-Canadian organization addressing child labour in Afghanistan.

“It was very shocking because what’s been going on in Afghanistan, every day you wake up, there’s something new, there’s something more shocking than what happened yesterday,” she said.

So far, the humanitarian response has lagged in both size and speed due to the lack of pre-positioned supplies and the level of hunger and poverty that already exist in Afghanistan. Heavy rains and winds have also hampered rescue efforts.

Children Without Borders had personnel on the ground delivering food packages and funds for medical treatment in Paktika province, the earthquake’s epicentre. Kamran said the province’s rural and mountainous landscape is making it more difficult for organizations to deliver aid.

“There’s a lack of medical treatment, there’s a lack of food, there’s all kinds of needs in Afghanistan right now,” Kamran said.

Houses in the area also have a weaker structure than those in Afghan cities, making them more susceptible to collapse, she said.

Thousands of stone and mud-brick homes crumbled in the quake, often trapping whole families in the rubble. Many of those who survived spent the first night outside in a cold rain. Since then, villagers have been burying their dead and digging through the rubble by hand in search of survivors.

Afghanistan was already facing the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history after the Taliban took control of the country last year, and an earthquake on top of that is “unbelievable” and “heartbreaking,” said Adeena Niazi, the founder and executive director of the Toronto-based Afghan Women’s Organization.

Afghanistan is grappling with staggering poverty at a time when the country as a whole is spiralling deeper into an economic crisis after many countries pulled back critical financing and development aid in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.

“The health system in Afghanistan has almost collapsed, hospitals are closed because they don’t receive aid,” Niazi said.

“It’s already a huge crisis with medical services but now with this earthquake, I don’t know what will happen,” she said, adding that many Afghans stuck under rubble could die without access to medical treatment.

Niazi said she is worried the international community my not rush to aid earthquake victims in Afghanistan out of hesitance to hand funds and resources over to the Taliban-controlled government.

The country’s international isolation is also complicating relief efforts since fewer aid organizations have a presence in the country.

To show that aid for earthquake victims is welcome, the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, who hardly ever appears in public, asked the international community and humanitarian organizations “to help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy and to spare no effort.”

The current government in Afghanistan is desperate to get help to its people, Niazi said. “I know (the Taliban) are against women, they are against women’s education, but … they don’t have the capacity, they don’t have the resources, they cannot do anything,” she said.

“The people are victimized by the Taliban and also they are easy to ignore. They are punished by the international community because they are ruled by the Taliban,” Niazi added.

Global Affairs Canada said the federal government remains deeply concerned about the continuing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“Canada is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life as a result of the recent earthquake in Afghanistan. Canada offers its heartfelt sympathies to all victims and their families,” it said in a statement.

The department said it is not aware of any Canadians affected by the earthquake but will continue to monitor the situation closely and continue to support experienced humanitarian organizations that meet all of its requirements to respond to the needs of vulnerable Afghans.

In March, Canada allocated $143 million in humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.

— With files from Jordan Omstead and The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.

 

Tyler Griffin, The Canadian Press

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Jane Goodall returns to live events in effort to inspire hope, action on environment

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CALGARY — Jane Goodall says she’s sharing a message of hope and a cry to action as she returns to the stage for live events.

The scientist, who’s best known for her work with wild chimpanzees in Africa, was in Calgary on Wednesday and was scheduled to give another talk in Victoria on Friday night.

“It’s my first trip to Canada in three years, because of the pandemic, and it’s my third trip anywhere,” Goodall said in an interview Wednesday before her Calgary event.

Like many, she spent the past two-and-a-half years of the pandemic working from home and delivering her message online.

“It was a grind,” she said, “because we created virtual Jane and virtual Jane could do Zooms and Zoom interviews and attend conferences every day.”

Goodall, 88, said she keeps telling her story both online and in person to try to inspire others to find their own way to deal with threats such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

“If we don’t have hope, then we become apathetic and do nothing. So, if we all become apathetic and do nothing, we’re doomed,” she said.

“We are at a critical juncture and it’s desperately important that people get together and actually take action.”

Climate change is altering the water cycle and has led to floods, droughts and wildfires. It has also driven biodiversity loss, with research suggesting that a million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction around the world.

Both have happened, Goodall said, because of a lack of respect for the natural world.

“We need to remember that we are part of the natural world and, in fact, we depend on it,” she said. “We depend on it for clean air, water, food, everything.”

Goodall said that means having a healthy ecosystem.

“I see an ecosystem as a beautiful tapestry and, within that tapestry, each species of plant and animal has a role to play,” she said. “As they become extinct from that ecosystem, it’s like pulling threads from the tapestry until it hangs in tatters and then the ecosystem will collapse.”

She said people need to learn to live with species such as wolves, which are an important part of the ecosystem, and people also need to do their part to help restore nature.

“I think we’ve somehow got to reach into people’s hearts,” she said.

“You’ve got to find stories to help them realize that this is a crisis, but I actually can do something.”

Some, she said, may feel as though they are just one person who picks up plastic trash each day and isn’t making much of a difference. “But, when you think that there are millions of people picking up bits of trash, you realize it is making a difference. Collectively, a big difference.”

Goodall said Roots and Shoots, a youth leadership program that’s part of the Jane Goodall Institute, helps young people figure out how they can help.

“If our young people lose hope, we’ve had it,” she said. “It’s not true that nothing can be done.

“We’ve got this window of time — I have no idea how big that window is, I know it’s still closing — and so Roots and Shoots is about giving young people hope by empowering them to take action, to choose themselves projects to make the world a better place.”

She said the program has members from kindergarten to university, and adult groups are also forming.

“This is my greatest hope for the future,” said Goodall.

“That, and our brain that is beginning to turn to finding ways to heal the harm we’ve inflicted and the resilience of nature — that places we have destroyed can once again support nature and animals on the brink of extinction have been rescued.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 24, 2022.

 

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

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How to integrate payment systems in an online shop

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Setting up an online shop is a great way to make money. However, if you want to be successful, you need to make sure that your payment system is set up correctly.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different payment systems that you can use in your shop, and we will show you how to integrate them into your website. We will also talk about the benefits of using each system so that you can choose the one that is right for your business.

Step #1 – Select The Best Payment System

Different payment systems offer different features, so it is important to choose one that will fit your needs. For example, if you want to accept credit card payments, you will need to find a system that supports this feature.

There are many payment systems available, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for your business. However, by considering your needs and doing some research, you can find the best system for your online shop.

If you have an online shop, or if you are thinking about setting one up, then read on to learn more about how to integrate payment systems into your website.

Benefits of using different payment systems:

  • Allows customers to pay with their preferred method
  • Can save you money on transaction fees
  • Can help you track and manage your finances
  • Can provide customer support in case of problems
  • Allows you to accept international payments Step #: Research the best payment system for your needs.

Best Way To Accept Online Payments

There are many ways to accept online payments. The best way for you depends on your business model, your products, and your customers.

Some businesses only need to accept one type of payment, such as credit cards. Others may want to offer their customers multiple payment options, such as PayPal, Stripe, or Apple Pay.

Overall, the best way to accept online payments would be to use a payment processor that offers many integrations. This is because there are many different ways to pay, and customers may want to use a different method each time they purchase something from your store.

For example, pay.com is a helpful way to manage your finances and keep track of your sales. It also offers a wide range of payment options and is a simple, yet effective, way to take payments online.

Another popular payment system is PayPal. It is one of the oldest and most trusted online payment processors. PayPal offers a variety of features, such as the ability to send invoices, accept credit cards, and track your finances.

If you are selling physical goods, you may also want to consider using a shipping company that offers payment processing, such as Shopify or Etsy. This can save you time and money, as you won’t have to set up a separate account with a payment processor.

Finally, if you are selling digital products, you may want to use a service that specializes in digital payments, such as Gumroad or FetchApp. These services make it easy to sell and deliver digital products, and they also offer features such as subscription payments and coupon codes.

By using a payment processor that offers many integrations, you can offer your customers the best possible experience.

Step #2 – Integration

To integrate a payment system into your website, you will need to create an account and then add the code to your site.

Most payment processors will provide you with a snippet of code that you can add to your website. This code will allow the payment processor to track sales and process payments.

For example, if you are using Shopify, you can add a “Buy Now” button to your website. This button will take the customer to the Shopify checkout page, where they can enter their payment information.

If you are using a custom-built website, you will need to add the code to your shopping cart and checkout pages. You can find instructions on how to do this in the documentation for your payment processor.

Once you have added the code to your website, you will need to test it to make sure it is working correctly.

To do this, you can create a test account and make a purchase. Once you have completed the purchase, you should receive an email receipt from the payment processor. If you do not receive an email receipt, or if you have any other problems, you can contact the customer support team for your payment processor.

Conclusion

No matter what type of business you have, there is a payment processor that can meet your needs. By doing some research and considering your options, you can find the best way to accept online payments for your business. Thanks for reading!

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