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‘Figure of hope’ praised for role in COVID-19 fight after her death – Global News

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A Quebec woman who was the first person in Canada to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has died.

Gisèle Lévesque, 89, died peacefully of natural causes last Monday, surrounded by family, according to the public health authority in Quebec City.

The health authority said her death was not related to COVID-19.

Lévesque received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last Dec. 14 at the CHSLD St-Antoine, a long-term care home in Quebec City.

“The first citizen of the country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on December 14, Ms. Lévesque was a figure of hope in the fight against COVID-19,” the health authority said in statement issued on Sunday.

READ MORE: First Quebecer receives coronavirus vaccine as rollout begins in long-term care homes

A native of Rimouski, Que., she lived in Quebec City.

Lévesque, who never married and did not have children, is survived by her brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, according to her published obituary.

The retired National Bank employee was very calm and direct about being No. 1 on the list, according to her nieces, saying simply: “’I was chosen, of course.”

Lévesque moved into the long-term care facility just as the pandemic broke out in March 2020. Her family thanked the facility for the care she received.

She was inoculated at 11:25 a.m. on Dec. 14, the historic moment in Canada’s pandemic fight captured by local health officials, with those gathered to observe the moment breaking into applause once it was done.

Lévesque called getting vaccinated “very important” and “emotional.”

“I’m proud, very proud,” she said at the time, urging people to follow health rules and get vaccinated.

The moment was hailed as a big moment by Premier François Legault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the mass vaccination campaign got underway.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.

The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.

To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.

While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.

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Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail

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More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.

WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.

From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.

Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.

Officials said it has been a huge success.

“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.

“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”

Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.

“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.

In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.

“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.

“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”

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