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How to Celebrate Your Four-Legged Friends on Pet Holidays



Did you know that August is the best time of the year for cat and dog owners? It just so happens that both National Cat Day and National Dog Day occur this month, so you can devote an entire day to your little four-legged friends (not that they don’t receive enough love and attention already)!

If you haven’t already, mark August 26th down on your calendar as National Dog Day. And if you prefer the company of felines, be sure to reserve August 8th to celebrate your cat’s glorious existence. For many people, pets are significant members of the family. They bring so much joy to their human counterparts. Life would be way less fun without the loyal companionship of adoring cats and dogs.

These national pet days are an engaging way to honour the beloved animals in your life. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness for the on-going need for animal adoption in Canada. Let’s take a look at how you can celebrate the pets in your life and encourage others to adopt, too!

Make Custom Shirts

You probably have an entire folder on your phone full of photos of your dog or cat, and it goes without saying he or she is the focus of your phone’s background image. What better way to show the world how much you love your pet than by putting one of those adorable photos on clothing?

Work with the right silk-screening company that makes custom printed t shirts in Canada of all styles. Find your favourite photograph and turn it into a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or even a facial mask to wear on the big day! Of course, you don’t have to limit it to a national pet day. Create different designs on custom clothing with many cute photographs of your loving cat or dog to wear throughout the year. Design your own clothes and make t-shirts for the whole family.

You’ll show the world how joyful it is to own a pet, and hopefully, you’ll inspire others to enrich their lives by adopting or rescuing an animal who needs some love.

Let Them Rule the Day

If you’re a cat owner, you know that he or she already rules the household. However, on National Cat Day, make it even more about them. Give them their favourite treat, a long grooming session, and lots of cuddles.

For the dog lovers, take your buddy to his or her favourite dog park. Give them that bone that only comes out on special occasions. Let them know how much you appreciate their friendship with big hugs and pets.

Volunteer at a Local Animal Shelter

Local animal shelters are almost always looking for help. Consider bringing some cat and dog toys to one in your community. If you’d like to support your local shelter continuingly, consider volunteering a couple of days a week and ask how you could help raise funds.

This month is all about your furry friend! However you decide to celebrate National Dog or Cat Day, remember to give them all the love and affection that they deserve.

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CDC Removes Guidance About Airborne Virus Spread From Website – BNN



The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed from its website what it said was draft guidance posted late last week stating that the coronavirus could spread through the air in small particles at distances of more than six feet.

On Friday, the CDC had said in an update to its website that in addition to spreading between people in close contact, the novel coronavirus could spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air and travel more than six feet, in settings such as restaurants, fitness classes and choir practices.

The posting appeared to confirm emerging research that suggests tiny particles can transport the virus some distance, especially in indoor or poorly ventilated environments.

By Monday, however, the new guidance had been taken down. At the top of the webpage, the agency said that a draft version had been published “in error” and that it was in the process of updating its recommendations about airborne transmission.

The current recommendations say that the virus spreads between individuals who are within about six feet of each other, including by way of droplets spread through coughing, sneezing and talking.

The CDC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reversal was the latest in a series of episodes to raise questions about the independence of U.S. health agencies at a time when doctors, disease experts and voters have become more concerned about political interference muddling public-health messaging.

The CDC reversed a recent change to guidance for testing asymptomatic people on Friday. The agency had previously said people who have had close contact with an infected person but don’t have symptoms may not need a coronavirus test. The new guidance now says those so-called close contacts do need screening.

The Trump administration has increased the vetting it applies to the CDC’s public messages. Proposed guidance and other publications on the agency’s website are subject to layers of review, including from the White House Office of Management and Budget, which may circulate the documents to agencies across the government, Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people familiar with the situation.

A White House spokesman described the vetting as necessary to protect public health, and other administration officials said it was standard procedure. But people who described the situation said guidance documents on the CDC’s website weren’t subjected to such reviews before the pandemic. The lengthy process sometimes delayed important guidance for weeks, frustrating officials at the agency.

Such documents are a primary way CDC now communicates with the American people. The agency’s routine briefings for media, a staple of prior health emergencies, have been largely suspended since March. The CDC said coronavirus information has been viewed on its websites more than 1.7 billion times.

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Pediatricians warn of 'devastating collision course' ahead of flu season – CTV News



A group of pediatricians is warning of a “potentially devastating collision course” ahead of the approaching flu season without a mass immunization strategy.

In a new petition launched online Saturday, the pediatrics section of the Ontario Medical Association identified three key factors that could produce challenges this fall: unprecedented interest in flu shots, the decreased capacity of physicians to deliver vaccinations, and the “co-circulating” coronavirus.

Every year, more than 1,000 Canadian children are hospitalized with influenza and hundreds die across North America, the petition says.

“COVID-19 stands to compound that risk and complicate the logistics of getting our communities adequately immunized against flu,” the physicians wrote.

While children appear to be at decreased risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, much is still unknown, including how the virus interacts with flu.

“Unlike COVID-19, we already have effective flu vaccines, available now.”


The new petition calls for a “better centralized, universal infrastructure” in Ontario for vaccinating the most vulnerable children, those six months to four years of age who typically visit their family doctors and pediatric clinics for the flu shot. Those clinics are not equipped to handle an influx of patients if interest in the flu shot is indeed spiking, says pediatric emergency physician Dr. Dina Kulik.

Kulik told that patients have been reaching out to her and her colleagues “in droves” asking for the flu shot, which is typically administered in October and November each year. The flu shot is not yet available in Ontario, where Kulik practices.

Recent surveys support the observation that interest is spiking among parents. In August, a global survey published in The Journal of Pediatrics identified a nearly 16 per cent increase in the number of caregivers that said they plan to get their child vaccinated against the flu. Researchers suggested that “[c]hanges in risk perception due to COVID-19” may be playing a role.

But family doctors and pediatrician clinics aren’t equipped to safely immunize hundreds of patients—as they typically would—during a pandemic, said Kulik. Some of those clinics have also yet to open, she added.

Instead, Kulik suggests there’s a need for “mass immunization programs” that allow for more efficient physical distancing and other health protocols necessary during the COVID-19 crisis. This could be “outdoor tents set up where kids can go through one at a time,” she said, citing research that shows there is less transmission of the virus outdoors. 

Alternatively, immunization programs could be implemented in schools as they have been for Hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV) among older elementary school children.

“That posses other challenges since some kids are not in school, and other might be sick at the time,” she noted. Other options could be modelling a mass immunization strategy off drive-thru testing sites for COVID-19 where people wouldn’t even have to leave their vehicle.

Asked what support the province will provide concerned pediatricians, Ontario’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott didn’t specify any new initiatives to expand the existing influenza vaccine system outside individual clinics.

“Pharmacies are able to administer flu vaccines, although not to very young children—they will still need to be administered in their physicians’ offices,” said Elliott, adding that physical distancing, masking and hand-washing will help prevent the flu as well. “We are anticipating that if everyone continues to follow the same public health measures as they are to prevent the transmission of COVid, this should help the transmission of flu as well.”


As health experts sound alarm bells for the approaching flu season, one country’s experience has presented a possible upside to COVID-19 “co-circulating” at the same time as influenza: Australia. Every year, Canadian physicians model their flu vaccine predictions off of the Oceanic country, which this year saw record low influenza infection rates. Experts credited lockdowns and other pandemic protocols for stamping out the flu there. 

While this initially may have seemed encouraging for the Canadian flu forecast, says Kulik, the country’s COVID-19 caseloads entering flu season are not similar. Australia, which has recorded nearly 27,000 COVID-19 cases, logged fewer than 100 new cases a day in June and less than 500 a day for much of July and August, the peak of its flu season. Over the last week alone, Canadian health officials have recorded more than 7,000 new cases

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Sept. 21 update: One probable COVID-19 case identified in Nova Scotia – Cape Breton Post



A Dalhousie University student has received an indeterminate COVID-19 test result.

Since the test result does not confirm the case is positive, it will not be included in the total COVID-19 case tally in Nova Scotia, the province said in its daily update.

The student, who lives off campus, was travelling outside the Atlantic bubble. They have been self-isolating since their return.

A COVID-19 test doesn’t differentiate between active virus and non-infectious virus fragments. So, an indeterminate test result could mean someone previously had COVID-19 and recovered, but non-infectious virus particles remain in their bodies. It could also mean that someone was tested before the virus is fully detectable.

Public health is treating the probable case as positive. In these situations, public health investigates whether the person had or is currently having COVID-19 symptoms. They also look into whether the person was recently exposed to COVID-19.

On Sunday, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs conducted 587 tests. To date, Nova Scotia has 1,086 positive COVID-19 cases, 87,928 negative test results, and 65 deaths. The last confirmed positive COVID-19 case was identified on Sept. 7.

Anyone who has is currently experiencing or has experienced within the last 48 hours one of the following symptoms should visit to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  • new or worsening cough
  • fever (i.e. chills or sweats)

Anyone experiencing two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening) should also visit the website: 

  • sore throat
  • runny nose or nasal congestion
  • headache
  • shortness of breath


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