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First B.C. resident with novel coronavirus has recovered – Kamloops This Week

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The first of five B.C. patients with coronavirus has recovered, the Ministry of Health and B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced Wednesday.

The patient no longer has symptoms of the virus, following two successive negative test results 24 hours apart. Henry also referred to the negative test of province’s first coronavirus patient during last week’s coronavirus press conference update.

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The four remaining B.C. patients with coronavirus are recovering in isolation at home, with monitoring from public-health teams.

The province’s fifth presumptive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) — a woman in her 30s who lives in the Interior Health region — has now been confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Over the next few days, Health Canada will begin releasing repatriated Canadians from 14 days of quarantine in Trenton, Ont. and they will no longer be required to self-isolate or take any additional precautionary measures. Those residents returned to Canada from China.

Fourteen days is believed to be the longest incubation period for COVID-19.

coronavirus graphic
Source: World Health Organization

Meanwhile, healthy Canadians from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will shortly be heading home, according to Canada’s foreign affairs minister, after weeks under quarantine. The ship, docked in Yokohama, Japan, has seen the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, with 634 passengers having tested positive at last count.

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Wednesday that passengers would be screened Thursday evening, Japan time _ mid-day in North America.

The passengers will each be issued a face mask and coloured wrist band before they are ushered off the ship to the Haneda Airport, according to a letter from government officials to the evacuees on board the ship.

Those who are cleared to travel will be taken to Canadian Forces Base Trenton for further screening before they are placed under another two-week quarantine at the Nav Centre in Cornwall, Ont.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said there was a chance that those who tested negative for the virus and show no signs of symptoms may be released from quarantine early under the discretion of Canada’s top public-health doctor.

The evacuation comes just after Japanese officials broke the news that two passengers from the ship died after contracting the virus.

The two fatalities, a man and woman in their 80s who are both Japanese, were believed to have been infected before the quarantine began on the ship, Japanese health ministry official Masami Sakoi said Thursday.

Public health teams in B.C. have connected with other returning travellers to assess and monitor them for symptoms, continue to support those who have self-isolated or may be concerned about symptoms to ensure they are being cared for, and investigating the travel history of confirmed cases and contacting people at risk of exposure to ensure they are isolated, if needed, and monitored for symptoms.

According to the province the risk of this virus spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time.

According to the World Health Organization, as of Feb. 19, there have been 75,204 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, of which almost all — 74,280 — are in China. There have been 924 laboratory-confirmed cases outside of China, spread among 25 countries, including eight in Canada.

There have been 2,010 deaths related to COVID-19, with four outside of China, two in Japan, one in the Philippines and one in France.

— with files from Canadian Press

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Saskatchewan warns of elevated monkeypox risk through 'anonymous sexual contact' – Niagara Falls Review

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REGINA – Saskatchewan’s health-care delivery agency is warning there’s an elevated risk of acquiring monkeypox through anonymous sexual contact, and it’s expanding vaccine eligibility to adults 18 years and older who are close contacts or deemed higher risk for exposure.

The chief medical officer of health told reporters during a news conference Saturday that monkeypox cases in the province remain low — so far only three have been confirmed.

But Dr. Saqib Shahab says if people meet the risk criteria and have concerns, they should call the province’s 811 HealthLine for advice on testing, as well as on obtaining a pre-exposure vaccination.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority issued a news release saying the warning about catching monkeypox through anonymous sexual contact is due to recent known cases.

It adds information reported to public health, related to travel into and out of province, has prompted the alert.

Shahab says Saskatchewan wants to do everything it can to prevent a surge in cases.

“I think with travel interactions throughout Canada in the summer, I think this risk was bound to change for us in Saskatchewan and that’s why we are now really opening up the vaccine, not just for post-exposure prophylaxis, but for pre-exposure as well, for the very targeted group that we’ve identified,” Shahab said at the news conference.

“Obviously we don’t want over-testing happening, but in the right context, I think it’s important to seek testing, exactly for the reason that we don’t want to miss cases.”

So far, he said there have been no cases in Saskatchewan where a history of exposure hasn’t been identified. Additional vaccine doses have been ordered now that the province has expanded eligibility, he noted.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, has been endemic in parts of central and west Africa for decades and was not known to trigger large outbreaks beyond the continent until May.

It causes fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and lethargy, followed by the development of a rash over a person’s body. It spreads through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, touching bodily fluids or lesions of a person who is sick with the disease or exposure to contaminated objects such as bed linens or clothing.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the majority of domestic cases are among men who reported intimate sexual contact with other men. Having multiple sexual partners may increase one’s overall risk, but the agency says the risk of exposure is not exclusive to any group or setting.

The number of Canadian monkeypox cases surpassed 1,000 just this week, though there are early signs the virus may now be spreading at a slower rate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2022.

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Sask Health alerts public of elevated risk of acquiring monkeypox – Global News

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority is alerting the public of an elevated risk of acquiring monkeypox through anonymous sexual contact.

Recent known cases have been associated with this form of transmission, and information reported to public health related to travel in and out of the province has prompted the alert.

Read more:

18+ eligible for 2nd COVID-19 vaccine booster in Saskatchewan on Monday

“We’ve have been following the global monkeypox outbreak very closely for the last five months now,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, the Chief Medical Health Officer for Saskatchewan.

“We think now there is a higher risk that we may see ongoing transmission in Saskatchewan.”

There are three confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province. Shahab said the cases so far have been from people exposed outside of Saskatchewan, however there are now people who have been exposed inside the province.

“We have evidence of exposures happening in Saskatchewan,” Shahab said. “In many cases through anonymous sexual contacts. This is very similar to what has been seen in other provinces in Canada and internationally.”

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that causes fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and lethargy, followed by the development of a rash over a person’s body. Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person. It is spread through:

  • Close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact.
  • Touching bodily fluids or lesions of a person who is sick with the disease.
  • Exposure to contaminated objects such as bed linens or clothing.

Anyone who believes they have been exposed to monkeypox can contact Healthline 811 to determine if they are considered at risk or eligible for a vaccine.

Read more:

Saskatchewan child care fees going down 70% starting Sept. 1

Eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine has been expanded to adults 18 years and older who are close contacts or deemed higher risk for exposure. Referrals are available through 811.

“With travel, with interactions in summer, this risk was bound to change,” Shahab said. “Now we are really opening up the vaccine for not just post-exposure… but for pre-exposure as well with the groups we have identified.”

The province has ordered additional vaccines to help with both pre-exposure and post-exposure, and plan to order even more if the demand increases.

Shahab hopes with the increase in vaccines and awareness of the symptoms, transmission can stay low in the province.

“We are really hopeful both in Saskatchewan and Canada that through all these measures of raising awareness so people are aware of symptoms and the can isolate, seek testing and now seek pre exposure vaccines, we really hope we can control this outbreak,” he said.

If you have recently been in contact with an individual suspected or confirmed with monkeypox and develop fever or other symptoms of illness, you should call HealthLine 811 or consult a health-care provider immediately.


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About 50% of monkeypox vaccine supply used, Canada passes 1,000 cases: Tam


About 50% of monkeypox vaccine supply used, Canada passes 1,000 cases: Tam

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Worse Vascular Outcomes Found in Patients With Asthma – AJMC.com Managed Markets Network

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Patients with symptoms of asthma, regardless of physiological confirmation, experienced worse vascular outcomes and greater cardiovascular risk, which may be due to short-acting beta agonist (SABA) use, according to the results of a recent study.

Individuals with a clinical history of asthma had lower endothelial function than healthy controls, regardless of whether participants had physiological confirmation of the disease.

Study results, which were published in Respiratory Medicine, also showed that that participants with asthma who regularly used short-acting beta agonist (SABA) medications had increased arterial stiffness than those who did not use SABA.

Researchers aimed to compare markers of cardiovascular risk, specifically endothelial function, arterial stiffness, and systemic inflammation, among those with confirmed asthma, unconfirmed asthma, and healthy controls. Researchers also aimed to investigate the effect of SABA use on these vascular outcomes.

This cross-sectional study included 26 patients with confirmed asthma, 15 patients with unconfirmed asthma, and 26 healthy controls all recruited from the Edmonton, Canada metropolitan area. All participants in the study were aged between 18 to 45 years and current nonsmokers.

Participants completed a pulmonary function test and evaluation for asthma. Physiological evidence of asthma was defined as a clinical history of symptoms such as recurrent wheezing, cough, and/or chest tightness. Physiological evidence also includes a reversibility in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of ≥12% and 200mL, a ≥20% reduction in FEV1 after a methacholine challenge, or a ≥10% reduction in FEV1 after an exercise challenge.

Participants were labeled with confirmed asthma if they had a clinical history and physiological evidence of asthma. Those labelled with unconfirmed asthma had a clinical history but no physiological evidence of asthma. Healthy controls had no evidence of asthma. Researchers compared endothelial function, arterial stiffness, and systemic inflammation between these three groups of participants.

Researchers assessed participants’ endothelial function as flow-mediated dilation (FMD) after 5 minutes of supra-systolic forearm occlusion distal to the imaging site. A 1% decreased in FMD correlates with a 7% increase in cardiovascular risk.

Participants’ arterial stiffness was assessed using pulse wave velocity (PWV). PWV was measured between the carotid and radial artery. A 1 m/s increased in PWV corresponds to about a 16% increase in cardiovascular risk.

Systematic inflammation was assessed by C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in serum after venous blood was collected from the participants. CRP levels have been linked with cardiovascular risk, even for those without underlying cardiovascular morbidity.

Endothelial function was significantly lower in both confirmed and unconfirmed asthma groups than compared to healthy controls. There was no significant difference in FMD between the confirmed and unconfirmed asthma groups.

There was no significant difference found in arterial stiffness and systemic inflammation among both asthma groups and the controls.

Participants with bot confirmed and unconfirmed asthma were grouped together and then split based on SABA use. SABA was used by 19 participants and not used by 22 participants in the last year. There was no significant difference between in endothelial function and systemic inflammation between these two groups. However, SABA users had a significantly higher arterial stiffness by an average of 1.5 m/s than those not using SABA.

Limitations of this study include the small sample size and the inability to account for seasonal fluctuations in asthma symptoms due to the cross-sectional design. Also, this study did not adjust for other variables that can impact vascular outcomes.

Reduced vascular function was seen in participants with asthma regardless of physiological confirmation of asthma, suggesting that the link between asthma and cardiovascular risk may be due to factors other than asthma pathophysiology and perhaps due to asthma symptomatology, the researchers noted. The researchers also noted that this study highlights the need for proper asthma management to avoid inappropriate SABA use in patients with unconfirmed physiological asthma.

Reference

Henry SL, Moore LE, Brotto AR, Rowland S, Fuhr D, Stickland MK. Systemic vascular health is comprised in both confirmed and unconfirmed asthma. Respir Med. 2022;200. doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2022.106932

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