The MLHU also reported two more confirmed variant cases.
The region’s total case count stands at 12,660, with 12,373 recoveries, 59 active cases and 228 total deaths — the most recent involving a man in his 50s and a woman in her 90s reported on Tuesday.
The total number of cases involving a variant of concern sits at 3,531. The number of cases involving the Delta variant jumped to 55 from 37 on Tuesday.
The breakdown of known variant cases is as follows:
- 3,369 cases of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first identified in the U.K.
- 99 cases of the Gamma (P.1) variant, first identified in Brazil
- 55 cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, first identified in India
- two cases of the Beta (B.1.351) variant, first identified in South Africa
- one case of the Kappa (B.1.617.1) variant, first identified in India
- one case of the Zeta (P.2) variant, first identified in Brazil
There is also one case listed only as B.1.617 and one case listed as B.1.617.3.
A total of 11,442 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in London since the pandemic began, while 363 have been in Middlesex Centre and 334 in Strathroy-Caradoc.
Further information can be found on the health unit’s Summary of COVID-19 Cases in Middlesex-London page.
The London Health Sciences Centre says it is caring for 10 inpatients with COVID-19, with fewer than five in the intensive care unit.
In an effort to protect the privacy of patients, LHSC only provides specific numbers when there are more than five.
LHSC is not reporting any patients from outside of the region.
Among staff, fewer than five LHSC employees have COVID-19.
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization reports one case involving a health-care worker and no cases among patients or residents.
The MLHU is not reporting any institutional outbreaks, however, there is an outbreak tied to indoor gatherings at Christ Embassy Church at 1472 Dundas St. in London.
As of last Thursday, six cases were associated with the outbreak.
Ontario releases data on vaccinated population within Public Health Units
Vaccinations and testing
As of Wednesday, the MLHU is accepting walk-ins for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine at its mass vaccination clinics.
On Tuesday, the MLHU released updated vaccination data, dated to the end of day on July 10.
The health unit says 559,109 doses have been administered in the region. For those age 12 and older, 77.8 per cent have had at least one dose, while 46.3 per cent have had two doses.
Information on how to book and cancel appointments can be found on the health unit’s website.
Information on local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the province’s website.
Several pop-up walk-in clinics are scheduled throughout the region. A full list can be found on the health unit’s website.
The health unit is also encouraging anyone with a second dose scheduled for the latter half of August or later to try to reschedule it for July.
Anyone looking to test to see if they have COVID-19 can find information about locations of testing sites on the health unit’s website.
The test positivity rate in the region was 1.3 per cent for the week of June 27.
Ontario is reporting 153 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the sixth straight day cases are below 200, bringing the provincial total to 547,562.
According to Wednesday’s report, 28 cases were recorded in Toronto, 23 in Waterloo Region, 20 in Grey Bruce, 19 in Peel Region,12 in Middlesex-London and 10 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
All other local public health units reported fewer than 10 new cases in the provincial report.
The death toll in the province has risen to 9,265 as seven more deaths were recorded.
Of the adult (18-plus) population, 79.5 per cent has at least one dose of vaccine, while 58.4 per cent is fully vaccinated.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health reported two new cases and one death on Wednesday.
The death is the first in the region since June 8 and involved a man in his 80s from Oxford County.
The total case count is now 3,911, with 3,812 cases listed as resolved, 15 ongoing and 84 deaths.
Per-municipality case counts can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.
One person is hospitalized with COVID-19. They are not in the ICU.
The number of variant of concern cases is unchanged at 826, with 755 of those listed as the Alpha variant, 48 the Beta variant and 23 the Delta variant.
There were no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.
The region’s test positivity rate was 0.6 per cent for the week of June 27.
As of July 11, SWPH says 75.5 per cent of its residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose and 43.4 per cent have had two doses.
All individuals aged 12 and up are eligible to re-book their second appointment through the online booking portal or by phone at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9.
The health unit is also still encouraging people to add their names to a same-day vaccination list.
Several pharmacies in the region are also continuing to offer COVID-19 vaccine.
Mixed up about mixing vaccines? Doctor answers your COVID-19 questions
Huron and Perth
Huron Perth Public Health reported one new case on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,917.
The number of deaths is unchanged at 57 as are the number of recoveries at 1,850 and the number of confirmed variant cases at 333. Ten cases are currently active.
HPPH is not reporting anyone as currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
Case counts by municipality can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.
There are no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.
The region’s test positivity rate was 0.9 per cent for the week of June 27.
HPPH’s vaccine dashboard reported that 75 per cent of those age 12 and older have had at least one dose, while 49.6 per cent are fully vaccinated, as of July 12.
Sarnia and Lambton
Lambton Public Health reported no new cases but one death on Wednesday.
The region’s total case count is unchanged at 3,626. The number of deaths now stands at 65, while the number of recoveries has climbed by two to 3,555.
The region’s variant case tally is still unchanged from Monday at 667.
According to Bluewater Health, one patient in their care is confirmed to have COVID-19.
There are no active institutional outbreaks.
The region’s test positivity rate was 0.8 per cent for the week of June 27.
Residents can book and re-book COVID-19 vaccine appointments using the health unit’s registration page. People can also call the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222.
Some pharmacies are also continuing to offer Pfizer or Moderna shots.
Lambton Public Health says 74.2 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 54.4 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.
—With files from Global News’ Kelly Wang and Gabby Rodrigues.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canada extends COVID-19 border measures until Sept. 30, including ArriveCan app
OTTAWA — The federal government will extend current COVID-19 public health measures for travellers entering Canada, including the use of the ArriveCan app, until at least Sept. 30.
In a release Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada also said it will continue the pause of mandatory random testing for fully vaccinated travellers at all airports until mid-July.
It first announced the pause on June 11 and said in the release that it’s allowing airports to focus on streamlining their operations.
The public health agency said it’s moving forward with plans to relocate COVID-19 testing for air travellers outside of airports to select test provider stores, pharmacies or by virtual appointment.
Mandatory random testing is to continue at land border points of entry with no changes.
The release added that travellers who are not fully vaccinated and don’t have a valid exemption must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their 14-day quarantine.
“As we move into the next phase of our COVID-19 response, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. We must continue to do all that we can to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in a statement.
He also urged people to remain up to date with the recommended vaccinations to ensure they are adequately protected against infection, transmission and severe complications.
“As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence.”
All travellers will have to continue to use the ArriveCan app or website to provide their travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada or before boarding a cruise ship destined for the country. The government said 95 per cent of land and air travellers are using the app and it’s taking steps to enhance compliance.
The government also said moving testing outside of airports will allow Canada to adjust to increased traveller volumes while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern or changes to the epidemiological situation.
It said border testing has been essential in helping Canada slow the spread of the virus, as data from the tests are used to understand the current level and trends of importation of COVID-19 into the country.
The testing program also allows for detection and identification of new COVID-19 variants of concern, it said.
Tourism groups and border-community mayors and MPs have called on the government to ease restrictions and scrap the ArriveCan app, saying the measures are limiting cross-border travel.
Transport Minister Randy Boissonnault said the government is deeply invested in growing Canada’s visitor economy.
“From our reputation as a safe travel destination to our world-class attractions and wide-open spaces, Canada has it all and we are ready to welcome back domestic and international tourists, while prioritizing their safety and well-being.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Western researchers use MRI to learn cause of long-COVID symptoms – BlackburnNews.com
Western researchers use MRI to learn cause of long-COVID symptoms
June 29, 2022 7:30am
A study led by researchers at Western University has revealed the cause of long-COVID symptoms.
New data published by Western professor Grace Parraga and the LIVECOVIDFREE study, based out of five centres in Ontario, is the largest MRI study of patients with long-COVID. The term long-COVID refers to symptoms of brain fog, breathlessness, fatigue and feeling limited while doing everyday things, often lasting weeks and months post-infection.
This is the first study to show a potential cause of long-COVID, which has helped physicians in the study target treatment for the patients.
“I think it is always a conundrum when someone has symptoms, but you can’t identify the problem,” said Parraga, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Lung Imaging to Transform Outcomes at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. “If you can’t identify the problem, you can’t identify solutions.”
By using MRI imaging with inhaled xenon gas, researchers have identified that the symptoms are caused by microscopic abnormalities that affect how oxygen is exchanged from the lungs to the red blood cells.
Researchers used the technology to watch the function of the 300-500 million tiny alveolar sacs, which are about 1/5 of a millimetre in diameter and responsible for bringing oxygen to the blood.
“What we saw on the MRI was that the transition of the oxygen into the red blood cells was depressed in these symptomatic patients who had had COVID-19, compared to healthy volunteers,” Parraga said.
Further CT scans pointed to ‘abnormal trimming’ of the vascular tree, which indicated an impact on the tiny blood vessels that deliver red blood cells to the alveoli to be oxygenated.
Parraga said the study showed no difference in severity between patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and those who recovered without hospitalization. She said this is an important finding as the latest wave of COVID-19 has affected many people who did not receive hospital-based care.
To conduct the study, researchers recruited patients suspected to be suffering from long-COVID from London Health Sciences Centre’s Urgent COVID-19 Care Clinic and St. Joseph’s Health Care London’s Post-Acute COVID-19 Program. Some participants experienced persistent shortness of breath more than six weeks post-infection, while others were still symptomatic after 35 weeks.
One of the participants is Alex Kopacz, a London-native and Canadian Olympic bobsleigh gold-medalist, who called his experience with COVID-19 “harrowing” and believed the virus would not affect him long-term as he is a young athlete.
“I was on oxygen for almost two months after COVID, and it took me almost three months to get to a place where I could go for a walk without gasping for air,” Kopacz said. “The take home message for me is that we have to remember that this virus can have very serious long-term consequences, which are not trivial.”
Researchers are now conducting a one-year follow-up to better understand these results.
The study was done in collaboration with researchers outside of London at Lakehead University, McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University and Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
Stroke treatment breakthrough found in heart attack drug: Canadian researchers | CTV News – CTV News Calgary
A drug used to treat heart attacks has proven to be an effective treatment for the most common type of stroke, and an even better treatment than the current clinical standard, says a team of Canadian researchers.
Over 80 per cent of all strokes are ischemic strokes, caused by a blood clot blocking, or narrowing, an artery leading to the brain. For over 20 years, the standard of care has been the immediate delivery of a clot-busting medication called Alteplase (tPA).
In the largest study of its kind ever run in Canada, researchers at the University of Calgary and University of Toronto found that the drug Tenecteplase (TNK), currently used in heart attack treatment, is at least equally effective as tPA and possibly more effective in treating ischemic strokes.
“Tenecteplase is known to be an effective clot dissolving drug,” explained U of C researcher Dr. Bijoy Menon. “It is very easy to administer which makes it a game changer when seconds count to save brain cells.”
The Alteplase Compared to Tenecteplase study found Tenecteplase (TNK), a heart attack treatment drug, to be a much more favourable treatment for ischemic strokes than tPA as it’s easier to administer.
Menon says the findings of the AcT (Alteplase Compared to Tenecteplase) trial were so conclusive he expects TNK to become the standard of care worldwide in very short order.
“Guideline Committees get the results, they debate the results, and then the transition happens. So I see this move happening within the next few months,” said Menon.
“The results are very convincing. It’s quite clear at the end of the study that you now have a better choice, and because of the debilitating nature of stroke, there’s urgency to actually change care.”
The current standard of care, tPAm, is complex to administer. It takes up to an hour and requires an infusion pump that needs to be monitored. The pump makes it more difficult to transport patients within a hospital or by ambulance to a larger facility with a dedicated stroke center for treatment.
By comparison, TNK is administered with a single dose through a syringe. The method eases the burden on nurses and doctors, and shaves time off the delivery of the medicine. U of T researcher Dr. Rick Swartz says it also means it will be available as a treatment in more places.
“TNK could potentially be administered wherever the patient is seen first, at a medical centre or small hospital,” explained Swartz. “One of the reasons Tenecteplase is so effective is that in can be administered as a single immediate dose. That’s a big advantage, saving critical time and complication.”
TNK attaches itself to the clot for a longer period of time than tPA, meaning blood flow is restored faster and for a longer period of time. Project nurse lead Carol Kenney says it will save lives.
“In our field we say ‘time his brain’ and any minute or any second that we can save in treating a patient is critical,” said Kenney. “Giving them medication quicker, and trying to get rid of the clot in their brain and get them back to normal again quickly, is so important. It really matters for every patient.”
Stroke survivor André Lavoie, who suffered a stroke in 2015, was part of a focus group that helped guide researchers. While he has recovered from the stroke, Lavoie remains acutely aware of the need for effective, immediate treatment.
“It is really an advancement to get the people to survive, and the whole thing with a stroke is; you may survive a stroke, but it’s your quality of life that you will looking for,” said Lavoie
“So if you have a stroke, and you can have that drug within half an hour an hour, it’s much better than two hours, or three hours to get it. Brain cells usually do not regenerate. So when they die, they die.”
The cross-country AcT Trial included 1600 patients in 22 primary and comprehensive stroke centers across Canada. The results were presented at a conference in Montreal on Wednesday, and published in the medical journal The Lancet.
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