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Officials Investigating Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Outbreak Linked To Pet Store Puppies – IFLScience

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Public health officials are investigating a multidrug-resistant bacterial outbreak linked to puppies purchased from pet stores. At a most recent count, at least 30 people have been diagnosed with the highly infectious Campylobacter jejuni bacteria in 13 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that puppies purchased from pet stores are the likely source of this outbreak. Many of the cases had contact with puppies or were employees at pet stores, including Petland,” wrote the agency in a statement, adding that no single common supplier has been identified.

Illnesses were recorded in people ranging in age from 8 months to 70 years old beginning on January 6, 2019, through November 10, 2019, four of whom required hospitalizations. No deaths have been reported, though health officials warn that the bacterial strain is resistant to seven antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat. There is potential for more illnesses to be reported as the infection can take up to five days to develop symptoms and even longer for a person to report their illness to authorities.

People infected with the outbreak strains, by state of residence, as of December 11, 2019. CDC

Health investigators are working to identify illnesses that may be linked to this outbreak using a national network of public health and food coordinated by the CDC known as PulseNet. The database employs a combination of fingerprint testing and whole-genome sequencing to determine links between infected individuals. A majority of those who have reported infection are related to each other, suggesting that they share a common source of infection. Notably, this year’s strain of bacteria is related to a 2-year outbreak that began in 2016 of multidrug-resistant infections linked to pet store puppies.

People often become infected with Campylobacter when they consume something that has come into contact with the bacteria. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, as well as nausea and vomiting that usually last about a week. Though most will clear the infection on their own, people with weakened immune systems may experience life-threatening infections if the bacteria spreads to their bloodstream.

The CDC advises pet owners to wash their hands with soap and water after touching or cleaning up after their dog and before handling food. Within a few days of getting a new puppy, experts recommend taking it to the vet for a thorough examination. 

People infected with the outbreak strains, by date of illness onset. Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time lag between when a person becomes ill, when the illness is reported, and when the laboratory tests and reports the results. CDC

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Ontario College of Teachers asks retired teachers to return to the classroom to address teaching shortage during pandemic – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) warns there is a shortage of certified teachers in the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the college, the teacher shortage has been magnified by smaller class sizes since the start of the school year.

In a letter sent to former and retired members, OCT is asking people to reinstate their memberships and return to work if they can, to help provide relief in the classroom.

“In short, you are needed. Your significant and specialized knowledge and skills are needed,” said the letter.

The letter encourages people to pursue job opportunities with local school boards.

CTV News Ottawa has reached out to several Ottawa school boards about this shortage.

Both the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board have positions posted on their websites for occasional teachers.

The Conseil des ecoles Catholiques Centre-Est has job positions for substitute and permanent teaching positions in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Kingston and Pembroke.

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Public health officials call for tighter restrictions, warn COVID-19 could spiral out of control – Yahoo News Canada

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Public health officials call for tighter restrictions, warn COVID-19 could spiral out of control

Infectious disease experts say Canadian health authorities must tighten restrictions again or hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 will increase exponentially in the coming weeks.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Echoing comments made Tuesday by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who said Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, experts in public health are urging governments to take decisive action to prevent&nbsp;the current resurgence of the virus from spiralling out of control.” data-reactid=”33″>Echoing comments made Tuesday by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who said Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, experts in public health are urging governments to take decisive action to prevent the current resurgence of the virus from spiralling out of control.

Canada reported 1,248 new cases Wednesday, and on Tuesday the country’s most populous province, Ontario, reported its highest number of new cases since early May. 

Tam outlined projections that show new cases could climb to 5,000 daily by October if we continue on the current course.

“To date, we’re not moving fast enough to get ahead of this,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease physician based at a Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. “I think we’re being lulled into a false sense of security because of the low numbers of hospitalizations and deaths [relative to earlier in the pandemic]. But they will come in the next six weeks or so.”

He said asking people nicely to tighten their social circles is not going to be enough.

Craig Chivers/CBCCraig Chivers/CBC

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“I think that appealing to people’s better natures — that, hey, you should be careful and you should make sure you limit your contacts — I don’t think that that’s going to work, to be perfectly frank.”

Gardam said Canadians grew fatigued with the restrictions imposed on their social circles earlier in the year and won’t be eager to return to them unless pressed.

“I think we’re going to have to be a lot more forceful,” he said. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Adjusting bubbles” data-reactid=”61″>Adjusting bubbles

That means demanding Canadians tighten their social circles, and backing that up with enforcement.

“I would argue that we need to be very cautious, like we were back in March, in order to weather the storm from all the increased contacts that we’ve had.”

Right now, “people are playing fast and loose with bubbles all over the place,” said Gardam. 

If you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick. – Michael Gardam, infectious disease physician, Women’s College Hospital

Instead, he says we need to rethink social bubbles now that school is in session again.

“We’re all going to have to pay the price because our kids are in school now. So what are we giving up?

“If you want to keep the restaurants open and bars, maybe you have to give up your private gatherings,” he said. “Because if you just increase in every dimension, if you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick.”

The actions taken in the next two weeks could change the trajectory of the months to come, said Laura Rosella, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health,

“There’s a lot of things with this pandemic that we can’t control, but we might be able to control who we interact with, especially socially, and who’s in our bubble,” said Rosella, who holds a PhD in epidemiology.

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“I would encourage everyone to rethink what their bubbles are given the new situation, especially if something’s changed, if someone’s gone back to work, someone’s entering a school situation and especially if vulnerable people are in their bubbles.”

Rosella said her advice to Canadians is to “really think through what is absolutely necessary” when it comes to interactions with others.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More than a blip” data-reactid=”98″>More than a blip

Rosella said Canadians can’t afford to ignore the changes happening with COVID-19.

“We’re not in the August situation anymore. There’s clearly an uptick of cases,” said Rosella, “The fact that we’re already on that trajectory tells me that the likelihood of this being just a small blip, that we’re not going to notice and we can carry on, is pretty low.”

“We are going to experience a significant increase that we’re going to have to manage and react to. It could be worse if we do nothing. And if we act, we could minimize the impact of it.” 

Dr. Samir Gupta, a clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, said getting a handle on this COVID-19 surge means returning to restrictions implemented earlier in the pandemic.

Craig Chivers/CBCCraig Chivers/CBC

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Craig Chivers/CBC

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Speaking with Heather Hiscox on CBC&nbsp;Morning Live&nbsp;Wednesday, Gupta said Canadians "need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around," which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.” data-reactid=”123″>Speaking with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live Wednesday, Gupta said Canadians “need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around,” which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.

Without enforcement, “we risk overwhelming our health-care system capacity … [and getting] into real trouble,” he said.

“We don’t want to have to turn people away and not be able to take care of people who are sick with this virus. And that’s the biggest risk we face.”

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Ottawa reports 82 new coronavirus cases: provincial data – Global News

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Ottawa’s surge in coronavirus infections continues Thursday with 82 new COVID-19 cases reported via the provincial database.

The latest daily increase is Ottawa’s second-largest spike in cases so far in the pandemic, surpassed only by the 93 cases reported on Tuesday.

No new deaths related to the novel coronavirus were reported in Ottawa on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Read more:
Ontario reports 409 new coronavirus cases with most in Toronto-area, Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) latest weekly epidemiology report shows the second wave of the virus in the nation’s capital was already setting grim records before this week’s spiking case figures.

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The local public health unit’s report shows the week of Sept. 14 to 20 had the highest number of new cases reported since the pandemic began, with 385 people testing positive for the virus.

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That’s up from 244 cases the week previous and surpasses the previous high of 331 cases set in the week of April 20.

OPH will release its more fulsome daily report on the novel coronavirus later Thursday afternoon.

The OPH report will sometimes revise case numbers provided earlier in the day via the provincial database due to lags in reporting.






10:38
Ottawa mayor: We are losing $1 million a day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic


Ottawa mayor: We are losing $1 million a day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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