Armando Perez was only three months old when he got itchy.
His mom, Alexandra Perez, says it wasn’t normal scratching that could be fixed with a cute pair of baby mittens. It was so bad that there were blood stains on his bedsheets and scabs on his little arms and legs.
At first, she thought Armando might have an allergy.
“I tried different laundry detergents and different body washes, but he was still itchy,” recalls Perez, as the now 2 1/2-year old and his big brother and little sister play with their grandpa in the downstairs of their Edmonton home.
“Then he turned yellow. I was like, ‘Well, that’s not normal.’”
She says she took the boy to see a doctor, blood tests were ordered and they came back “totally out of whack.” The doctor sent Armando to a specialist and he was admitted for a week to the city’s children’s hospital for more testing.
Perez and her husband, Walter, soon found out their son has progressive familial intraheptic cholestasis — an ultra-rare genetic liver disease that affects one in every 50,000 to 100,000 children born around the world.
Dr. Cara Mack, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado, says there are 40 to 80 cases of the disease diagnosed each year in the United States. And there are six different types.
Armando has Type 2, which is caused by a gene mutation that decreases bile flow.
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Mack, who hasn’t treated Armando, says 100 per cent of Type 2 patients are symptomatic.
“Because of the fact that bile acids are stuck in the liver … that directly damages the liver,” says Mack, who notes it leads to scarring and eventually cirrhosis.
Mack says it also causes growth delays because children aren’t able to break down fats or absorb Vitamins A, D, E and K.
“You get significant deficiencies in those vitamins that can lead to, for example, significant bleeding,” she says. “If you are Vitamin D deficient, you can have thin bones and fractures.
“The last major symptom you get is severe itching because the bile acids are stuck inside the liver. They go backwards into the bloodstream and accumulate in the bloodstream.”
That causes children to “itch like crazy,” she said.
The itching continues day and night, which prevents many children from getting a good night’s sleep. It can even limit their appetite.
“It impacts every aspect of their life.”
Perez says she was shocked to learn that Armando has the rare genetic disease.
Both she and her husband are carriers of the gene that causes it, and there’s a 25 per cent chance of passing it on to a child. Their two other children don’t have the disease.
“Armando is the only one we know of in Alberta,” she says. “We only know of five other kids in Canada, so six in total that we know.”
Perez says Armando was put on a special formula with a fat he could absorb and he took vitamins and several different medications.
“He did improve so he wasn’t jaundiced anymore.”
But, she says, her happy little boy is still scratching.
“The itch that comes from it is so intense and extreme,” explains Perez. “It’s constantly all the time, internal, so it can’t be taken away. He’s just always, always itchy.”
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Armando is to start a clinical trial soon that could address the itching.
“It doesn’t do anything for the progression of the disease, but it will help with his symptom of being itchy, which is his main problem,” says his mom.
In the meantime, his parents will continue to watch for signs that he’s getting sicker: losing weight, turning yellow, an inflamed belly.
“It’s hard to watch him when you can’t do anything.”
Perez says it’s even more difficult knowing Armando is likely to need a liver transplant before he turns 10.
“There is no cure.”
© 2019 The Canadian Press
Kate Hudson flaunts toned abs in Breast Cancer Awareness Month photo – Yahoo News Canada
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Kate Hudson is stripping down for a great cause.
The 42-year-old actress took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a photo in her underwear, advocating for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, leaving fans blown away by her “ripped” abs.
“It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’m stretching my quads before joining my friends at Kit Undergarments and Third Love as they kick it to cancer by donating 15% of sales from the Kits To Kick Cancer collection to Women’s Cancer Research Fund,” the mother-of-three wrote to her more than 14 million followers.
The Fabletics co-founder’s post was met with praise, not just for bringing attention to the worthy cause, but for her strong and toned figure.
“OK, I had no idea she was this ripped,” one person commented, while another added, “Definitely thought that was J.Lo at first glance.”
“I thought you were Jennifer Aniston at first,” someone else chimed in. “Can you imagine being a mom and 42 and looking this good? I am in shock.”
“Girl, you are in crazy good shape,”another commented. “I hope I look like this when I’m in my 40s.”
“The hair is irrelevant when you’re a mom with a body that looks this great,” someone else added.
“Thank you for promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and thank you for being this freaking hot,” another fan praised. “Keep up the hard work, sis. I see those abs!”
It’s no secret that the “How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days” star works hard for her body. In an interview with Women’s Health in June, Hudson revealed that she works out three or four times per week with a personal trainer.
“I know I’m at my strongest is when I’m doing my Pilates because it never gets easier,” she said. “The more you do Pilates the harder the things you can do become. I love how flexible I feel and I like what it does to the shape of my body.”
Aside from pilates, Hudson prefers to keep her exercises as fun as possible.
“I like to do any kind of dance workout,” she added. “I have the Peloton Tread, I just got it and I love Peloton. I think they make it so easy to have ‘no excuse’ workouts.”
Delta variant likely slammed brakes on U.S. economic growth in third quarter
The U.S. economy likely grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in the third quarter as COVID-19 infections flared up, further straining global supply chains and causing shortages of goods like automobiles that almost stifled consumer spending.
The Commerce Department‘s advance gross domestic product report on Thursday is also expected to show strong inflation, fueled by the economy-wide shortages and pandemic relief money from the government, cutting into growth. Ebbing fiscal stimulus and Hurricane Ida, which devastated U.S. offshore energy production at the end of August, also weighed on the economy.
But there are signs that economic activity picked up towards the end of the quarter amid declining coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant.
“Delta is the biggest reason why we have this noticeable deceleration,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “We’re going to see growth re-accelerate in the fourth quarter and the first half of next year as the effect of the Delta variant begins to wane. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have future waves of COVID, but with each passing wave, the economic costs continue to diminish.”
GDP growth likely increased at a 2.7% annualized rate last quarter, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The poll was, however, conducted before the release of data on Wednesday showing a sharp widening in the goods trade deficit in September amid a slump in exports.
The biggest goods trade deficit on record prompted some Wall Street banks to cut their GDP growth estimate, including Goldman Sachs, which trimmed its forecast by half a percentage point to a 2.75% rate. The Atlanta Federal Reserve trimmed its already low forecast to a 0.2% pace from a 0.5% rate.
Regardless of the actual number on Thursday, the economy’s performance last quarter was probably the weakest since the second quarter of 2020, when it suffered a historic contraction in the wake of stringent mandatory measures to contain the first wave of COVID-19 infections. The economy grew at a 6.7% rate in the second quarter. The Delta variant worsened labor shortages at factories, mines and ports, gumming up the supply chain.
The anticipated meager growth is seen coming mostly from a moderate pace of inventory drawdown. Overall inventory accumulation likely remained weak owing to shortages, especially of motor vehicles. Outside the shutdown in spring 2020, September was the worst month for motor vehicle production since 2010 because of a global shortage of semiconductors.
“The largest boost to GDP should come from a slower drawdown of inventories compared to in the second quarter, as supply shortage issues initially presented through weaker inventories but now have become a constraint on consumption instead,” said Veronica Clark, an economist at Citigroup in New York.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, is forecast to have stalled after a robust 12% growth pace in the April-June quarter. Though automobiles will account for a chunk of the anticipated stagnation, the Delta variant also curbed spending on services like air travel and dining out.
GLIMMERS OF HOPE
Inflation, which overshot the Federal Reserve’s 2% flexible target, also reduced households’ spending power. Price pressures and the supply chain disruptions saw the International Monetary Fund this month cutting its 2021 growth estimate for the United States to 6.0% from 7.0% in July.
Slower growth will have no impact on the Fed’s plans to start reducing as soon as next month the amount of money it is pumping into the economy through monthly bond purchases.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The summer wave of COVID-19 infections is behind, with cases declining significantly in recent weeks. Vaccinations have also picked up. The improving public health helped to lift consumer confidence this month. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits has dropped to a 19-month low.
That declining trend is expected to be confirmed by a separate report from the Labor Department on Thursday.
According to a Reuters survey, initial claims for state unemployment benefits likely held at a seasonally adjusted 290,000 last week. That would mark the third straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold.
Economists are split on whether business investment in equipment maintained its pace of double-digit growth last quarter. Data on Wednesday showed a surge in shipments of capital goods excluding aircraft in September.
While some economists saw this as an indication of strong equipment spending, others cautioned that high prices flattered the value of shipments. There are also concerns that the scarcity of motor vehicles hindered efforts by companies to replace or increase their auto fleet.
“Just as the collapse in motor vehicle sales is dragging down consumption, the corresponding collapse in fleet sales is also weighing on business equipment investment,” said Michael Pearce, a senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in New York. “The sharp fall in auto and truck shipments means that, rather than a double-digit annualized gain, business equipment investment probably contracted slightly in the third quarter.”
Trade was likely a drag on GDP growth for a fifth straight quarter also following a sharp drop in industrial materials exports in September. Expensive building materials and soaring house prices likely weighed on the housing market again last quarter, while government spending probably rebounded.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
Confused about COVID-19 booster shots? Here’s what you need to know – North Delta Reporter
The province announced that COVID-19 booster shots will be available to every British Columbian ages 12 and up by the end of May 2o22.
The announcement came after months of health officials saying simply that they were studying the science of booster shots and who would need them.
So, what is the science?
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that while two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are absolutely effective in preventing hospitalization from the virus, some groups are starting to see breakthrough cases. This is most likely to happen in older individuals, the immunocompromised and Indigenous Peoples – and that’s why those groups are being prioritized. The immunocompromised – about 115,000 people – have already received an invitation to get their third dose, as have residents in long-term care and assisted living.
As time goes on, however, other people may also become vulnerable, especially those who got their vaccines in the winter and early spring. That includes many seniors, the clinically extremely vulnerable and Indigenous Peoples.
“Our vaccines are highly effective. However, we are starting to see a gradual decline in protection over time. As a result, we are taking the proactive step of expanding boosters to everyone in our province,” said Henry. “We’re starting with the people who need them most to continue to do all we can to keep people in B.C. safe from this virus and its variants.”
What shots will be offered as boosters?
Booster shots will be either Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines, including for individuals who received one or two doses of AstraZeneca. Health officials say it doesn’t matter which of the mRNA shots you get as a booster – they are interchangeable.
Do I have to get it?
No. Health officials say that for the purposes of the B.C. vaccine card program and for immunization mandates – such as for health care workers – two doses will be sufficient.
When will I be eligible?
That depends. In general, the goal is for everyone to get their booster shot six to eight months after they received their second dose. Long-term care residents and immunocompromised individuals are already eligible, but here’s who comes next:.
From now until the end of 2021:
- Seniors 70+
- Indigenous Peoples 12+
- Long-term care support clients
- Seniors in independent living
- Health care workers who got dose one and dose two in a shorter interval.
From January to May 2022
- Clinically extremely vulnerable (who are not immunosuppressed)
- Health care workers in acute care, long-term care and assisted living
- Health care workers in the community
- Everyone in B.C ages 12+.
How will I find out when I’m eligible?
Everyone will be contacted via the Get Vaccinated system, the same way you were likely contacted for your first two shots. If you’re not registered yet, you can do so at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by calling 1-833-838-2323. If you are already registered from your first two shots, you don’t need to register again.
Where can I get the shot?
Booster shots will be available at community immunization clinics run by health authorities and pharmacies across the province. In small or remote communities, everyone may be vaccinated at the same time through a “whole of community system,” as happened in places such as Tofino and Prince Rupert for first and second doses.
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