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Polio largely vanished thanks to vaccines. So why is it now back in more countries? – CBC News



Polio, a potentially disabling virus that’s long been forgotten in many parts of the world, is now circulating in parts of the U.S. and U.K., on the heels of an outbreak in Israel — prompting health officials to launch vaccination campaigns to ensure the public is protected.

Even in Canada, a country free of polio for the last two decades, medical experts say it’s a wake-up call that the virus still poses a threat to anyone who remains unvaccinated, given polio’s ability to spread through global travel networks and wastewater systems.

On Wednesday, British health authorities announced they will offer a polio booster dose to children aged one to nine in London, after finding evidence the virus has been spreading in multiple regions of the capital. Britain’s Health Security Agency said polio virus samples were found in sewage water from eight boroughs of London, but there were no confirmed infections.

Still, the agency’s analysis showed transmission has likely “gone beyond a close network of a few individuals.”

“We know the areas in London where the poliovirus is being transmitted have some of the lowest vaccination rates,” said Dr. Vanessa Saliba, a consultant epidemiologist at the U.K. Health Security Agency. 

WATCH | Hundreds could be infected with polio in New York state, officials say:

100s could be infected with polio in New York, health officials say

1 day ago

Duration 2:19

A health official in New York State says hundreds of people could be infected with the polio virus.

The agency said it was working closely with health authorities in the U.S. and Israel, as well as the World Health Organization, to investigate the links between polio viruses detected in those two countries. 

In July, Israel announced a recent outbreak of polio infections appeared to be under control, after multiple people became infected, including a Jerusalem girl who was paralyzed and now requires rehabilitation, according to the Jerusalem Post.

More recently, in the state of New York, one unvaccinated young adult suffered paralysis after a polio infection in Rockland County — an area known for low vaccination rates — which marked the first case reported in the U.S. in nearly a decade. 

Vaccination campaigns are now underway as samples of the virus were also detected in the wastewater of both Rockland and another county, just north of New York City. Officials also say hundreds more people may already be infected.

“The scope may be even much larger than we can even fathom or imagine,” said New York-based immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh.

“Because vaccines have become the victim of their own success, we don’t see it — so we may not even realize what the spread of polio is, because for the majority of us who are vaccinated, it doesn’t really [affect] us.”

Outbreaks do still happen in certain countries

Before mass vaccination campaigns largely wiped out polio from circulation in higher-income countries like Canada between the 1950s and early 1990s, the virus was known for sparking outbreaks and striking children, causing paralysis or death in some cases.

Even now, war, poverty, and social unrest make it difficult to achieve eradication in many countries around the world. Outbreaks remain common in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Africa.

Parikh said polio cases aren’t entirely a surprise in any community where vaccination rates are lower, either due to anti-vaccine sentiments or disruptions to routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now the concern is, some of these infectious diseases that we haven’t seen in nearly decades may actually come back and pose to be a problem,” she said.

Part of the challenge in wiping polio out around the world actually comes from the vaccination approach used in certain regions. While higher-income countries now use an inactivated poliovirus vaccine given as a traditional shot, others rely on a weakened poliovirus that’s easy to administer by mouth.

Both types of vaccines helped curb global transmission and, crucially, neither one is capable of giving someone a case of symptomatic polio.

Colourized electron micrograph of the poliovirus, taken in 1975. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

However, since the oral version winds up in the stomach, it’s eventually flushed out of the body into wastewater systems — where, over time, the virus can evolve back into a form that’s able to cause disease.

“So if you have a shedding of that particular virus and transmission of that in a community, it can cause a polio outbreak,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with the University Health Network in Toronto.

“And in fact, if you look at many parts of the world, there have been small outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio.”

‘Polio is only a plane trip away’

Lab testing conducted on the case in New York, for instance, linked the virus samples to transmission from someone who’d received the oral vaccine, which hasn’t been used in the U.S. since 2000. “This suggests that the virus may have originated in a location outside of the U.S. where [the oral vaccine] is administered,” officials said.

In London, out of more than 100 polio samples identified in sewage, most were vaccine-like virus, according to the UK Health Security Agency, while others had enough mutations to be more like “wild” polio that can cause serious health impacts.

Global travel between countries with high rates of polio transmission and regions with lagging vaccination rates could pose a problem going forward, said Wes Hazlitt, a Winnipeg polio survivor, advocate, and president of the Post-Polio Network in Manitoba.

“Polio,” he added, “is only a plane trip away.”

Another challenge in tackling outbreaks stems from this virus’s ability to spread undetected, experts say, with most people unaware they’re even infected — leaving countries vulnerable to slow-growing outbreaks before any patients show up with major disease and paralysis.

“Most people will have no symptoms or mild symptoms, but about one in 200 or so will have significant symptoms,” Bogoch said.

WATCH | 1953, the year polio last stalked Canada: 

A history of polio in Canada

29 years ago

Duration 23:24

A look back 40 years later at the year 1953, when polio last stalked Canada. Aired on CBC’s Prime Time News on Dec. 7, 1993.

Under-vaccinated communities remain at risk

So when it comes to experiencing a future polio outbreak, how at risk is Canada? That all depends on vaccination rates both now and in the future, multiple medical experts said.

“If you start not vaccinating the kids from the primary series — like the measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio — then you risk those diseases coming back,” warned Dr. Anna Banerji, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist in Toronto.

A vast majority of the Canadian public has been vaccinated against polio, and while immunization rates among children ebb and flow, the latest available federal data from 2017 shows roughly 90 per cent of toddlers had all three required polio shots. 

But that coverage isn’t uniform across the country. Polio vaccination rates were below 90 per cent in British Columbia and Manitoba, and close to just 80 per cent in Nunavut, while uptake in specific communities can vary and may have been disrupted by COVID-19 school closures.

Polio wards were lined not only with beds but with iron lungs, large metal ventilators that helped patients to breathe during the worst of the infection. Some survivors never regained lung function and spent the rest of their lives in the devices. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

“We do have our issues in Canada, with under-vaccinated communities for a variety of reasons, and a lot of this predates COVID-19,” said Bogoch, adding many public health teams across the country did offer immunization programs throughout the pandemic to get children caught up.

While pockets of the population could remain vulnerable to polio infection, Fatima Tokhmafshan, a researcher and geneticist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, said most Canadians shouldn’t be overly concerned.

“If you see something circulating, it’s good to be on your guard, but not panicking,” she said. 

“So it’s important to keep an eye out. And reach out to your network, to your friends, your family — make sure everybody’s vaccinated.”

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Peak BioBoost Reviews – What To Know Before Buying Peak Biome Prebiotics – Abbotsford News



Infrequent bowel movements and inadequate intake of fiber-rich foods lead to constipation and other gut health issues. Colon inflammation syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, among other gut health issues, affect many people globally. People with irritable bowel and constipation face other digestive health issues, but there are various treatment options to suppress the effects.

Numerous probiotics and prebiotic-made supplements claim to aid in digestive health but aren’t effective. Peak BioBoost is a prebiotic fiber-containing supplement that delivers gut-friendly bacteria to provide myriad digestive health benefits. This review will evaluate various facts about the Peak BioBoost supplement.

What Is Peak BioBoost?

Peak BioBoost is a prebiotic fiber blend dietary supplement manufactured by Peak Biome Inc-a reputable brand in producing digestive health supplements. The innovative, science-proven, and plant extract-based formula treats the root cause of the digestive health issue by delivering good bacteria in the digestive tract. According to the manufacturer, the supplement contains oat fiber-rich ingredients that are ideal for digestion.

The product is made of natural and powerful ingredients that revitalize the body. In addition, the potent ingredients lower insulin sensitivity and enable one to feel refreshed. Peak BioBoost ingredients primarily support gut health and restore quality of life. The manufacturer recommends consumers take one sachet of the formula daily to find positive outcomes. The supplement restores healthy and regular bowel movements and prevents painful straining or uncomfortable gas caused by constipation.

How Does Peak BioBoost Work?

The prebiotic fiber-rich formulation works in various approaches. It allegedly works in several different ways to achieve positive results. First, the product purportedly relaxes the intestinal nerves and muscles to allow for easy bowel movements. Slight damage to the intestinal muscles can easily lead to irritable bowel and constipation. Once the intestinal lining is loose, it leads to digestive tract issues. In addition, the stress experienced in the gut lining results in constipation. Peal BioBoost formula alleviates stress and thus lowers constipation.

Secondly, fiber deficiency leads to difficulty in bowel movements and stool gliding processes. The revolutionary supplement enables smoother movement of bowels since it contains oat fiber ingredients that nourish the gut system. The latter eventually eliminates chronic constipation. Prebiotic fiber softens the stool and alleviates the strain caused by constipation.

Finally, the prebiotic-made formula provides the gut system with good bacteria (probiotics). Probiotics are vital in eliminating toxins in the digestive tract and supporting metabolism. The presence of bad bacteria in the digestive tract leads to a rise in infections, prolonged digestion periods, and excess fat deposition, which leads to adverse gut health issues. Peak BioBoost formula provides good bacteria to alleviate such complications.

What Are the Ingredients Contained in the Peak BioBoost Formula?

The prebiotic fiber-rich supplement is manufactured under a GMP-certified facility. Each batch of production undergoes quality checks, and some of the high-quality ingredients used in the formula include:

Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)

Xylooligosaccharides contain prebiotics that deliver good bacteria and support healthy bowel movements. The ingredient also supports the digestive system and alleviates intestinal lining stress and pain. The ingredient is used in the Peak BioBoost formula to aid in the relaxation of intestinal nerves, strengthen the gut lining and enhance efficient bowel movements.

Tapioca Fiber

Peak BioBoost has a blend of active ingredients, including oat fiber and tapioca fiber. Tapioca Fiber supports healthy bowel movements and weight loss. Consumers can benefit from Tapioca fiber since it alleviates stomach pain that occurs due to irritable bowel syndrome. Consumers of Peak BioBoost benefit from the ingredient since it soothes the intestinal nerves and eases bowel movements.


Besides its vital role in weight loss, the ingredient is used in the Peak BioBoost supplement to aid in bowel movements. Consumers can benefit from the ingredient since it aids in resolving irregular bowel movements and offsetting gas in the digestive tract.

Acacia Gum

Being one of the Peak BioBoost ingredients, Acacia gum extract aids in restoring a healthy digestive system. The element gets rid of bad bacteria to enhance healthy bowel movements. The ingredient also alleviates discomfort or restraint during excretion.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

Peak BioBoost formula contains FOS due to its significant role in alleviating stomach pain that’s caused by poor digestive functions. In addition, the ingredient aids in bowel movements and the prevention of constipation. The element also introduces probiotics to the gut system to aid in smooth excretion.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is contained in the Peak BioBoost formula for consumers to soothe damaged intestinal nerves and muscles. The ingredient supports healthy bowel movement and restores the ideal ratio of good bacteria. Healthy bacteria improve overall health.

The above ingredients make Peak BioBoost a viable dietary supplement for targeting the root cause of one’s digestive system issues and addressing them momentarily.

Peak BioBoost Benefits

Besides addressing digestion issues, the Peak BioBoost supplement by Peak Biome has additional benefits. The supplement is viable for people of all ages. The manufacturer has provided various benefits of the product as follows:

Helps Improve Digestive System

The Peak BioBoost formula enables the consumer to have a well-functioning digestive tract. The supplement improves the quality of life by getting rid of all bowel-related problems, including constipation and extreme acidity. Peak BioBoost formula is suitable for one’s metabolism and overall digestive health since it aids in reducing constipation, acidity, and more digestion-related issues.

Frees up Rancid Acid Formation from the Body

The supplement ensures consumers undergo smooth digestion and inhibits the formation of rancid acid. The formula is used to lower acidity for people struggling with intense acidity. The presence of acid on the intestinal lining can be detrimental, and the supplement aids in reversing the action of damage.

Support Bowel Movements

Peak BioBoost ideally eases bowel movements. The supplement relaxes the intestinal nerves and muscles, ensuring effortless toilet gliding. Achieving efficient bowel movement enables one to feel refreshed and revitalized all day. Consumers who use the supplement regularly notice that all their digestive-related issues vanish momentarily.

Improves the Immune System

Besides targeting the digestive system, Peak BioBoost also improves the immune system. Upon achieving a good immune system, consumers have healthy and disease-free lives. The new formula can enable consumers to manage chronic digestive health issues. The supplement also contains potent and active ingredients that strengthen the immune system and enables the body fight pathogens.

Delivers the Good Bacteria and Aids in Gut Health and Weight Loss

The Peak BioBoost formula supercharges the gut with good bacteria enabling consumers to feel refreshed, revitalized, and without bloating. Dietary supplements also support weight loss. The good bacteria in the digestive system support weight loss. Probiotics prevent excessive deposition of fat and boost the metabolic rate. Regular consumption of the supplement enables consumers to achieve weight loss.

Peak BioBoost Usage

The manufacturer recommends ingesting one scoop or sachet of the prebiotic supplement with a morning beverage. The product is also recommended with smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, or basically any breakfast you like. Coffee is ideal for kickstarting the bowels, and it’s recommended while one is using the product.

Peak BioBoost prebiotic formula easily dissolves in beverages and has low carbs. In addition, the dietary supplement is not addictive, and it’s recommended to use it regularly to find significant improvement, a revitalized body, and overall wellness.

Unlike other products that cause allergies, the formula is safe for consumption. It’s free from gluten, preservatives, flavors, and other harmful substances. However, consumers with underlying health issues should liaise with their physicians to ensure the product doesn’t have any reactions.

Peak BioBoost Formula Pricing and Refund Policy

Peak BioBoost is productive and affordable, and consumers can get the product by ordering it from the official website. The GMO-free and keto-friendly supplement has the following discounted packages on the website:

  • Starter Pack: 1 Bottle of Peak BioBoost supplement is offered at $44.95
  • Most Popular Package: 6-Bottles of the prebiotic supplement are selling at $33.33 per bottle saving $150
  • Family Pack: 3-bottle of the supplement are selling at $39.95

All the packages are inclusive of “The Dessert Cookbook” and free US shipping and handling fee. Consumers who reside in the US or Canada can get the product shipped within 5-7 business days. However, the product is shipped internationally within 15 business days.

In addition, consumers have a 365-day money-back guarantee. The refund policy is issued with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Consumers who feel the product doesn’t satisfy their needs can get their money back without hassle.

Besides the discounted offers by ordering the product from the official website, consumers get an additional bonus. “The Perfect Poops Desserts Cookbook Bonus Guide” provides consumers with 50+ dessert recipes that aid gut health.

Final Verdict

Irritable bowels, chronic constipation, and other digestive health issues can be detrimental to the overall health. People who take digestive health issues lightly are likely to face severe underlying health complications in the future.

Some dietary supplements are viable solutions for most digestive health problems. The supplements contain potent ingredients that ingest the body with fiber that supports bowel movements.

Peak BioBoost formula may help improve bowel movements by providing the gut system with prebiotics. The manufacturer highlights myriad benefits associated with the product. Prebiotics enhance sustainable good bacteria in the gut system to eliminate toxins. Consumers can benefit from Peak BioBoost and improve their digestive system’s health, among other benefits.

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Toronto Public Health expands access to Meningococcal vaccination for eligible adult residents – Toronto



News Release

October 6, 2022

Starting today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has expanded access to free Meningococcal vaccine for eligible Toronto residents between ages 20 and 36. Bookings for Meningococcal vaccines at the City of Toronto’s six fixed-site immunization clinics can now be made for appointments starting on Wednesday, October 12 on the TPH’s booking system.

Tomorrow, Friday, October 7, TPH is also hosting pop-up clinics at six secondary schools in the city where it will provide three school-based vaccines: Meningococcal, Human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis B. The clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for students in grades 7 to 12. More information can be found on the City’s COVID-19: Pop-Up Immunization Clinics webpage.

In recent weeks, TPH identified serious cases of meningococcal C infection among young adults who were not vaccinated. These cases highlight the need to keep up-to-date with recommended vaccinations to protect against ongoing risk of infection. Meningococcal disease is a rare infectious disease that can cause severe illnesses that can be deadly.

City-run immunization clinics
TPH encourages Toronto residents in their twenties and thirties to check their vaccination records to confirm if they have received a Meningococcal vaccine, most commonly received in grade 7 or 8 as part of the school vaccination program. Eligible individuals who have not received a Meningococcal vaccine, including newcomers from countries that do not provide publicly-funded Meningococcal vaccination, should contact their healthcare provider or attend a TPH clinic to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Eligible residents between the ages of 20 to 36 can receive publicly-funded Meningococcal vaccine at all of the City’s six fixed-site immunization clinics by booking an appointment through TPH’s booking system. A health card is not required. ID is needed to prove your age. City-run immunization clinics are easily accessible by transit and offer free parking on-site.

Meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease is a rare infectious disease caused by Neisseria meningitides bacteria. It can affect people of any age. The bacteria is carried in the throat or nose and is spread through close, direct contact between people sharing respiratory or throat secretions (saliva or spit). Common ways are kissing, sharing drinks and straws, or sharing cigarettes and vapes. Generally, it takes close or lengthy contact to spread the bacteria. In rare instances, the bacteria can cause severe illnesses that can be deadly.

People who are sick with meningococcal disease may show symptoms between 2 and 10 days after exposure. These symptoms may include the sudden onset of high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, drowsiness or confusion, nausea and vomiting, a rash (purplish) that spreads quickly, seizures, and/or irritability or fussiness. Severe cases can result in hallucination and coma and, if untreated, can lead to death.

Anyone who develops symptoms within 10 days of last seeing a person with meningococcal disease should see a healthcare provider right away. More information about Meningococcal disease can be found at the City’s Meningococcal Disease webpage.

Student vaccination
Students in grades 7 and 8 continue to be able to receive free Meningococcal vaccines (that prevent meningitis), Human Papillomavirus vaccines (that prevent cancers) and Hepatitis B vaccines (that prevent liver disease and cancer) to December 2022 at their schools through the #VAXToClass campaign.

Students in grades 9 to 12 who did not receive their Meningococcal, Human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis B vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic can also receive them at all of the City’s six fixed-site immunization clinics. A health card is not required. Appointments for these school-based vaccines can be booked through TPH’s booking system.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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B.C. pharmacists welcome new prescription powers, but eye administrative burden



VANCOUVER — Pharmacists in British Columbia are welcoming an expansion of their powers to prescribe drugs and give vaccines, but they also say that how the changes are implemented will matter.

Cathy Wang, pharmacist and owner of 360Care Denman Pharmacy in Vancouver, described the shift as “very positive.”

“It’s a very exciting day for us,” she said, adding it will mean more access to care for patients.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the expansion last week as part of a plan to address human resource challenges that are contributing to an ongoing health-care crisis.

Starting Oct. 14, B.C. pharmacists will be able to administer more vaccines and renew prescriptions for up to a two-year period for people whose family doctors have retired or left their practices.

Next spring, they will begin prescribing drugs for minor ailments like urinary tract infections and allergies, as well as contraception.

The changes bring British Columbia in line with guidance from Health Canada and other provinces. Alberta gives pharmacists more leeway, including allowing them to administer things like cosmetic injections and order lab work, while Ontario was the last province before B.C. to empower pharmacists to issue prescriptions for minor ailments.

As the changes are rolled out, B.C. pharmacists said the smoothness of the transition will depend on the reimbursement model, staffing supports and whether there’s an added administrative burden.

Like many health professionals, pharmacists have faced burnout and labour shortages since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

A survey of 1,399 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians early this year commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association found almost all pharmacy professionals — 92 per cent — reported being at risk of burnout. Nearly half report abuse or harassment from patients on a weekly basis.

“The unrelenting demands, coupled with added administrative burdens and staffing challenges, have pushed us to a tipping point,” chief pharmacist officer Danielle Paes said in a statement when the survey was released in May.

As an independent, Wang said she has some control over the workload, but she said she’d like to see supports in place to protect others from unreasonable demands.

At the same time, she said expanding the scope of pharmacists may actually help with retention. It’s been discouraging for some pharmacists not to use their skills and training to their full potential, she said.

“There’s actually a lot of young practitioners who have left the profession because there’s not enough reward. There’s a huge gap in what we learn in school, in terms of clinical practices,” Wang said.

“I think, in short, there may be a little bit more workload but it will probably increase the morale.”

Wang also said she’ll be keeping an eye on the reimbursement model. Currently, when doctors give an injection, they receive a fee for service, she said. Unless the government supports the same for pharmacists, the costs may be passed on to patients, she said.

In a submission to the B.C. government ahead of Budget 2023, the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada proposed a professional services fee of $20 per assessment, which it said is in line with other provinces with remuneration frameworks. In Saskatchewan, it estimates that every $1 invested in the program saves the health-care system $2.53.

The association estimates B.C. pharmacies could assess about 60,000 minor ailments a year for $1.2 million.

A pharmacist working in the Fraser Valley, who wished to go unnamed because he didn’t want to put his job at risk, said he supports the changes but hopes they don’t come with too much extra administrative work, which already involves one to two hours per day.

“We already have a lot of filings that we have to do behind the scenes,” he said.

Giving COVID-19 and flu shots has added extra work, he said. However, the bigger concern is the need to report data through a provincial portal that is cumbersome, taking more than 15 minutes per patient, he said.

“The COVID shots and this year’s flu shots, they changed the whole system. That is definitely a little bit more pressure to us,” he said.

However, the pharmacist said it’s overall positive to expand the scope of pharmacists to better use their skills and training.

It should also help reduce bottlenecks, like when a patient asks for a refill and the pharmacist has to contact the doctor — a process that can take one or two days, he said.

Parm Johal, pharmacist and owner of Wilson Pharmacy, said he’s generally happy with the news.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave pharmacists the opportunity to step up and show their value, he said. The new changes mean they’ll continue being able to help relieve pressure on other health-care providers and ensure continuity of care.

“We feel it’s a long time coming,” he said. “There’s a few of us who have always been advocating for it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2022.


Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

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