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Public health confirms first case of monkeypox in region – The Kingston Whig-Standard



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Following the announcement of the first lab confirmed case of monkeypox in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington region on Wednesday, KFL&A Public Health is working with the Ministry of Health to identify high-risk contacts and connect possible cases with necessary supports.

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In a media call on Thursday afternoon, KFL&A medical officer of health Dr. Piotr Oglaza explained that Public Health has completed contact tracing for the confirmed case and that the risk of the virus to the general public is very low.

“We have followed up with all the close contacts of the (confirmed) case and are proceeding to support those individuals until they have recovered,” Oglaza said. “The risk to the general public is low, and KFL&A residents should not be concerned going about their everyday activities in the community.”

The monkey pox virus was previously known to be endemic in parts of central and western Africa, but other the past few months, cases have been popping up in non-endemic countries, with 477 cases currently reported in Canada.

Monkey pox is a viral disease that spreads through close contact with infected individuals, including sexual contact, hugging, skin contact while dancing, the sharing of contaminated clothing or bedding, and prolonged face-to-face contact.

Oglaza warns that while anyone can get monkeypox, the most commonly reported risk factors in Ontario have included engaging in sexual or intimate contact with new or multiple partners.

While the virus is in the same family as the smallpox virus, symptoms are far milder and less contagious, with most people recovering on their own without treatment. According to KFL&A Public Health, symptoms of monkeypox include rash or blister in the mouth and around genital areas, swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills, muscle aches, headaches and exhaustion. Symptoms can appear within five to 21 days after initial exposure.

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For Oglaza, the mild course of illness is an encouraging sign both in terms of individual outcomes and the public health risk of the virus.

“This is a viral infection where symptoms are typically self-limiting. While severe outcomes are possible, this has not been the experience so far, so that is certainly reassuring,” Oglaza explained. “Because this disease do not spread very easily outside of certain types of interactions—prolonged contact with infected individuals—and the incubation period is relative long, it enables to intervene and consider prophylaxis for those who are exposed. So even though the (virus) might be relatively mild for most individuals, we want to make sure that everyone can get the maximum protection.”

Currently, the province of Ontario is deploying vaccines to both prevent illness among high-risk individuals, and distributing vaccines to those who may have been exposed.

“There’s two ways in which the vaccine is deployed. One way that it is available to stop farther transmission is look into contacts and deploy vaccines (known as post-exposure prophylaxis). There’s also an option for addressing individuals who might be at increased risk of coming into contact with monkey pox and offering the vaccine as a pre-exposure prophylaxis,” Oglaza said.

Oglaza explained that, to-date, no vaccines had been deployed in the KFL&A region, but now that a case has been identified public health is working with the province to implement a vaccination strategy.

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“The trigger for (these) approaches is the identification of a case in the jurisdiction. So we are in active discussions with the province to bring (vaccines) to the KFL&A region and offering (vaccines) to those individuals who might be at increased risk,” he said.

Close contacts of confirmed or suspected cases are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 21 days after their last suspected exposure. If symptoms do develop, individuals are encouraged to self-isolate, seek medical care, and get tested for the virus.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider as soon as possible.

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The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life




Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.

That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.

What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?

Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.

Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.


Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations

As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.

Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:

  1. Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
  2. Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
  3. Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.

Determining a Fair Payment Plan

Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.

Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.

Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers

When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:

  • Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
  • Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
  • Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
  • Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.


Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.

Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.

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Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home



THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.

The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.

No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.

Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.




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Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister



Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.

Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.

“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”


Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.

“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.

LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.

“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.

The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.

LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.

On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.

“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.

LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.

“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.

She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.

Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.

LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.

–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News



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