Connect with us

Health

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says – Agassiz-Harrison Observer

Published

on


With strong control measures, the federal public health agency projects that 11,000 to 22,000 Canadians could die of COVID-19 in the coming months.

In a report released Thursday, (April 9) Public Health Agency of Canada says short-term estimates are more reliable, and it anticipates 500 to 700 deaths by the end of next week.

The agency released modelling data this morning with different possible scenarios, warning that what happens depends very much on how Canadians behave to keep the respiratory illness from spreading.

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says.

It says the COVID-19 battle in Canada is still in its early stages but Canada’s numbers of confirmed cases have been increasing more slowly than in other countries.

The agency the fight against the novel coronavirus will likely take many months and require cycles of tighter and weaker controls.

Later on Thursday (April 9), Chief medical officer Dr. TheresaTam said the “aspirational and our ambitious goal” was that just one per cent of the population is infected with COVID-19. With a population of 37.6 million, that would mean about 376,000 people would be infected.

Tam said there were 17,766 total confirmed cases of the virus and 461 deaths as of Thursday.

“I recognize there changes in our daily lives… are extremely difficult,” Tam said during a press conference in Ottawa.

She said the measures had “allowed the healthcare system to cope.”

She called on Canadians to make the upcoming long weekend a “staycation for the nation,” and stay home to celebrate with their household, or virtually with other friends and family.

Tam said health officials were evaluation the effect of measures like physical distancing and self-isolation daily.

“No one is gathering, really… we’re just trying to strengthen the message to Canadians that you should avoid all non-essential travel and stay at home as much as possible,” she said.

“We know that contact tracing is very key.”

READ MORE: COVID-19 predictions coming ‘soon’, but results will depend on how Canadians act: Trudeau

READ MORE: Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

READ MORE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won’t find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

New Brunswick doctor says he does not know where he picked up COVID-19 – OHS Canada

Published

on


FREDERICTON — A New Brunswick doctor blamed by many, including the premier, for spreading COVID-19 in a growing cluster of new cases told Radio-Canada on Tuesday that he’s not sure how he picked up the virus.

Dr. Jean Robert Ngola said he recently travelled from Campbellton, N.B., to Quebec to pick up his four-year-old daughter because the girl’s mother had to attend a funeral in Africa.

Ngola admitted that upon his return from the overnight trip, he did not self-isolate for 14 days, but added he does not know if he caught the coronavirus on his travels or from a patient.

“Perhaps it was an error in judgment, but I did not go to Quebec to go to take the virus and come to give it to my patients,” Ngola told morning show La Matinale.

There are 13 active COVID-19 cases in the province that had just weeks ago seen all of its coronavirus cases recovered.

On Tuesday, the Public Health Department reported another COVID-19 case in an outbreak at Manoir de la Vallee, a care home in Altholville in the northern part of the province.

All of New Brunswick’s active cases are in the health region known as Zone 5, and all have been linked to a cluster in the Campbellton area.

Officials, including Premier Blaine Higgs, have said the cluster began when a health-care worker travelled to Quebec and returned to work at Campbellton Regional Hospital without self-isolating.

But Ngola told La Matinale that his COVID-19 diagnosis threw him, and he’s not sure how he was exposed. His daughter tested positive as well and both have been in quarantine since, but neither have had any symptoms.

Doctor has faced racist attacks

The doctor, who is of Congolese descent, said he has been the victim of racist attacks online since public attention was directed to his case. His name and photo were shared on social media with racist comments describing him as “the bad doctor who went to get the virus to kill people here.”

Ngola told the radio program he took precautions when travelling and did not stop en route.

He continued working upon his return to Campbellton and left his daughter in the care of an essential service workers’ daycare centre.

On May 25, he was told that one of his patients had tested positive for COVID-19. He called the man, whom he’d seen May 19 for a prescription renewal, and stopped working right away.

Ngola said as a patient, he also has the right to confidentiality.

The Campbellton COVID-19 cluster has led to increased testing in the region, where the Vitalite health authority offered tests to anyone who asked from Friday through Sunday.

More than 3,300 were completed over the weekend and Zone 5 has moved back a step in the province’s reopening plan.

A Tuesday news release from the province’s Public Health Department said the newest positive case is a person their 80s linked to Manoir de la Vallee, where a worker tested positive last week.

Five residents have now tested positive for the virus and the regional director for Lokia Group, the company that owns the home, said Monday that two had been hospitalized.

The province said Tuesday that five people are in the hospital due to COVID-19, including one person in intensive care.

Chief doctor pleads for patience

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said in a statement that New Brunswickers should be patient as the province monitors the outbreak.

“We have 14 days ahead of us to see how things unfold,” Russell’s statement read. “In the meantime, I ask New Brunswickers to continue to demonstrate their compassion, kindness and patience throughout the province.”

At a news conference last week, Premier Blaine Higgs did not refer to Dr. Ngola by name, but criticized him as “irresponsible” and said the matter had been referred to the RCMP, potentially leading to charges for violating public health orders.

Days later, Higgs walked back his remarks slightly and appeared to acknowledge the outrage, telling people to leave investigation into any wrongdoing up to law enforcement and the person’s employer.

“I know people are upset, but we don’t want anyone taking matters into their own hands,” he said.

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin told The Canadian Press on Saturday that she was embarrassed by many of the comments on social media directed at the doctor, which she described as “pretty hateful and nasty.”

By Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s, N.L., with files from Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Hydroxychloroquine fails to prevent COVID-19 in those at high risk, trial shows – CBC.ca

Published

on


The drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been the subject of heated debate as a potential treatment for COVID-19, was not effective in preventing the disease in Canadians and Americans at high risk, according to the first gold standard clinical trial.

In Wednesday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, medical researchers reported on testing the use of hydroxychloroquine in 821 adults throughout the U.S. and in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta. The participants did not have symptoms but were exposed to someone with confirmed COVI9-19 in a health-care or household setting.

Hydroxychloroquine is often used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus. U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s taken hydroxychloroquine, although he’s not tested positive for the coronavirus infection. No studies have proven this drug or any others are effective against COVID-19.

The exposures were all considered high risk, because the participants were less than two meters away from a confirmed case for more than 10 minutes without wearing a mask or face shield. The goal of the randomized trial was to see if hydroxychloroquine could prevent symptoms of infection, known as postexposure prophylaxis, compared with taking a sugar pill.

“In this trial, high doses of hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with COVID-19 when initiated within four days after a high-risk or moderate-risk exposure,” the study’s authors wrote.

Gold standard method

Dr. Emily McDonald, a physician at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, co-authored the randomized control trial in which half of participants were randomly assigned to the drug and half to the placebo without investigators knowing to avoid bias in interpreting any symptoms or their resolution.

McDonald called it the gold standard method to have the best evidence to support how to prevent spread of COVID-19.

“When we politicize the drug and we stop studies early for reasons that are perhaps not entirely valid, we risk never answering the question properly because the enrolment for the studies drops off,” McDonald said.

“There are also hundreds of patients that have contributed their data to randomized trials because they also felt a responsibility to help the scientific community answer this question.”

Overall, 107 of 821 of participants developed COVID-19 based on a swab or compatible symptoms during 14 days of followup.

No deaths occurred

Of those who received hydroxychloroquine, investigators said 49 developed the disease compared with 58 in the placebo group, a difference that could simply be random.

Two patients were hospitalized, one in each group. No deaths occurred.

Medication side-effects such as nausea and abdominal discomfort were more common for patients taking hydroxychloroquine compared to placebo (40 per cent versus 17 per cent), but no serious treatment-related adverse reactions were reported, including any heart arrhythmia.

Earlier on Wednesday, the World Health Organization announced it was resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm of its Solidarity trial into potential treatments for COVID-19 following a pause to check for any potential safety concerns such as heart problems.

The Solidarity trial includes participants and researchers in Canada. 

Previous studies of hydroxychloroquine were observational in design, which greatly increases the potential for bias when managing patients compared with a well conducted, randomized clinical trial.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

2 new cases of COVID-19, bringing total long-term care residents infected to 5 – CBC.ca

Published

on


There are two new cases of COVID-19 in the province, both related to a recent outbreak in the Campbellton region.

There are now 15 active cases of COVID-19, all in Zone 5, which has been returned to the orange phase of recovery while restrictions remain eased in the rest of the province.

The new cases are an individual between 40 and 49 years of age, and an individual between 60 and 69 years of age.

A provincial press release said one of the two new cases is linked to a close contact of a previously identified case, and the other one is linked to Manoir de la Vallée, a long-term care facility in Atholville.

Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard said in total, the facility has three staff and five residents test positive.

There are five people in hospital and one in the intensive care unit, the release said.

Three of the hospitalized people are residents of the long-term care home, Shephard said, including the ICU patient.

“To the best of my knowledge I can tell you that [their condition] is stable,” Shephard said.

All of the cases are isolated in the memory care wing of the facility, Shephard said. 

“This memory care wing would have doors, like locked doors,” shes said. “We can’t say 100 per cent that a patient doesn’t wander in some fashion but it’s very much minimized.”

She said all the rooms are private, but residents do share a bathroom.

“A cleaning crew has been brought on to support staff in washing down washrooms three times a day at a minimum,” she said.

Two of the positive residents are still in the wing in Atholville she said, and the staff members are isolating in their homes. 

She said administrators are in contact with family members on a daily basis. She said she’s sure residents and families are worried.

“But I’m sure that staff is doing everything they can to give them assurances that every precaution is being taken to protect them.”

Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard says three of the six people in hospital are long-term care home residents. One is in ICU and in ‘stable’ condition. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

The release said a Quebec resident has also tested positive, and is also linked to the facility, but the case will be counted as part of Quebec’s statistics.

Public H​​​​​ealth has previously linked the outbreak to a doctor who travelled to Quebec and didn’t self-isolate for the mandatory 14 days when he returned.

The province has conducted 31,791 tests in total, including 1,125 in the last 24 hours.

What to do if you have symptoms?

The province says if you or a member of your family are showing two of the following symptoms, contact Tele-Care 811 or your primary health-care provider:

  • Fever above 38°C or signs of fever (such as chills).
  • A new cough or worsening chronic cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Headache.
  • A new onset of fatigue.
  • A new onset of muscle pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell.
  • In children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending