The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Nunavut is reporting a new case of COVID-19.
The case is in the Hudson Bay community of Arviat, where there are now 18 active cases.
Arviat is the only community in the territory with active cases, and is experiencing its second outbreak.
As of Saturday, Nunavut has had 284 COVID-19 cases and one death.
Alberta’s chief medical health officer is reporting 11 new COVID-19 deaths.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the news in a series of tweets, where she also reported 383 new COVID-19 infections across the province.
Hinshaw says there are 582 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Alberta, including 103 in intensive care.
Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday that some public health measures will be eased on indoor fitness centres, school sports, restaurants and bars due to lower hospitalization numbers.
Hinshaw notes that while Alberta continues to make progress and is seeing numbers decrease, it’s important for people to remain vigilant and make safe choices.
Eight more people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan have died, and the province is reporting 258 new cases.
The government says in its daily COVID-19 update that the province’s seven-day average of new daily infections is 244, which works out to 19.9 new cases per 100,000 people.
The update says there are more than 2,500 cases that are considered active in the province.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 12 new cases of COVID 19 and the virus-related death of one person in their 80s with underlying health conditions.
The latest death brings the province’s total number of COVID-related fatalities to 18.
As for the new cases, more than half of them were reported in the Edmundston area of northern New Brunswick, which is currently in the midst of a full lockdown.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick has risen to 1,230, which includes 928 recoveries and 283 active cases.
Manitoba is reporting two new deaths in people with COVID-19.
The province says in its daily pandemic update that a man in his 80s in the Winnipeg region died in connection with an outbreak at Holy Family Personal Care Home.
The other death was a man in his 90s, and was linked to an outbreak at Heritage Life Personal Care Home in the Southern Health region.
The update says 166 new cases were identified as of 9:30 Saturday morning.
Data shows Manitoba’s five-day COVID-19 test-positivity rate is 7.3 per cent provincially and 4.4 per cent in Winnipeg.
Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.
The province is now dealing with 11 active cases.
All of the new infections are related to travel outside the Atlantic region.
Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has recorded 1,580 cases, 1,504 recoveries and 65 deaths.
Premier Stephen McNeil issued a brief statement today thanking residents for helping slow the spread of the virus.
Quebec is reporting 1,367 new cases of COVID-19 today and 46 additional deaths linked to the virus, including 14 within the past 24 hours.
Public health authorities say the number of hospitalizations declined by 54 over the past 24 hours to 1,163. The number of people in intensive care declined by eight from the previous day to 201.
The Health Department says 2,086 doses of vaccine were administered on Friday for a total of 238,143 doses.
It says Quebec has received 238,100 doses of vaccine from the federal government, but was able to administer more because some vaccine vials contain an extra dose.
Ontario is reporting 2,063 new cases of COVID-19.
The province is also reporting 73 more deaths from the virus.
One-thousand-273 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday, with 353 people in intensive care and 216 on ventilators.
Provincial data says 9,373 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the past 24 hours.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault says he plans to announce changes to Quebec’s COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday.
Legault wrote in a Saturday-morning Facebook post that he hopes to be able to relax some restrictions, particularly those around retail stores, if the situation permits.
Legault wrote that the changes would come into effect after Feb. 8.
Businesses designated “non-essential” have been closed across Quebec since Dec. 25 and the province has been under an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew since Jan. 9.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2021.
Rare Cases of Monkeypox Diagnosed in Britain | Health | thesuburban.com – The Suburban Newspaper
TUESDAY, May 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Four men in England have been infected with a “rare and unusual” monkeypox virus.
Investigators from the U.K. Health Security Agency are investigating the cases and whether there is any connection between the men, according to the Associated Press. None of the individuals had traveled to the African countries where the virus is endemic. Three of the men are in London, and one is in Northeast England.
Three earlier cases were announced last week. In those cases, two of the patients lived in the same household. The third person had previously traveled to Nigeria, one of the countries where the virus is endemic in animals. Most people who get monkeypox recover quickly, within several weeks. The virus has symptoms that include fever, muscle ache, chills, and fatigue. A rash similar to that found in chickenpox and smallpox can form on the face and genitals in more severe cases.
The latest four cases all happen to be in men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men. However, monkeypox does not easily spread between people, and it is not known to be transmitted sexually. In Western and Central Africa, the virus is typically spread by touching or being bitten by an infected wild animal. However, it could be spread among people with extremely close contact, the British health officials said.
“The evidence suggests that there may be transmission of the monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact,” said Susan Hopkins, M.D., chief medical advisor for the U.K. Health Security Agency, the AP reported. “We are particularly urging men who are gay or bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay.”
Public health officials consider the risk to the general population to be low. They are working with hospitals and international partners to determine if there is a similar rise in cases in other places. This includes tracing people who had contacts with the monkeypox cases, including airline passengers, the AP said. Doctors who see patients with unexplained rashes should seek advice from a specialist, public health officials said.
Long COVID: Half of patients hospitalised have at least one symptom two years on – Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin
Two years on, half of a group of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, still have at least one lingering symptom, according to a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study followed 1192 participants in Wuhan infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.
While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the study found that COVID-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population. This is especially the case for participants with long COVID, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill.1
The long-term health impacts of COVID-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year.2 The lack of pre-COVID-19 health status baselines and comparisons with the general population in most studies has also made it difficult to determine how well patients with COVID-19 have recovered.
Lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China, said, “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19. Ongoing follow-up of COVID-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long COVID, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programs for recovery. There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had COVID-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health outcomes.”3
The authors of the new study sought to analyse the long-term health outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, as well as specific health impacts of long COVID. They evaluated the health of 1192 participants with acute COVID-19 treated at Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, between 7 January and 29 May 2020, at six months, 12 months and two years.
Assessments involved a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work and healthcare use after discharge. The negative effects of long COVID on quality of life, exercise capacity, mental health and healthcare use were determined by comparing participants with and without long COVID symptoms. Health outcomes at two years were determined using an age-, sex- and comorbidities-matched control group of people in the general population with no history of COVID-19 infection.
Two years after initially falling ill, patients with COVID-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31% reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31% reporting sleep difficulties. The proportion of non-COVID-19 participants reporting these symptoms was 5% and 14%, respectively.
COVID-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness and headaches. In quality of life questionnaires, COVID-19 patients also more often reported pain or discomfort (23%) and anxiety or depression (12%) than non-COVID-19 participants (5% and 5%, respectively).
Around half of study participants had symptoms of long COVID at two years, and reported lower quality of life than those without long COVID. In mental health questionnaires, 35% reported pain or discomfort and 19% reported anxiety or depression. The proportion of COVID-19 patients without long COVID reporting these symptoms was 10% and 4% at two years, respectively. Long COVID participants also more often reported problems with their mobility (5%) or activity levels (4%) than those without long COVID (1% and 2%, respectively).
The authors acknowledged limitations to their study, such as moderate response rate; slightly increased proportion of participants who received oxygen; it was a single centre study from early in the pandemic.
1. – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network – Royal College of General Practitioners. COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng188
2. – Soriano – JB Murthy – S Marshall – JC Relan – P Diaz JV – on behalf of the WHO Clinical Case Definition Working Group on Post-COVID-19 Condition. A clinical case definition of post-COVID-19 condition by a Delphi consensus. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021; 22: e102-e107
3. – Huang L – Yao Q – Gu X – et al. 1-year outcomes in hospital survivors with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet. 2021; 398: 747-758
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ink drop
2SLGBTQ+ lobby group head speaks on the trauma of conversion therapy
Although conversion therapy has now been outlawed in Canada, many are still victims causing them to go through a lot of trauma in the process.
According to Jordan Sullivan, Project Coordinator of Conversion Therapy Survivors Support and Survivors of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts (SOGIECE), survivors of conversion therapy identify the need for a variety of supports including education and increased awareness about SOGIECE and conversion practices.
Also needed is access to affirming therapists experienced with SOGIECE, trauma (including religious trauma), safe spaces and networks, and access to affirming healthcare practitioners who are aware of conversion therapy or SOGIECE and equipped to support survivors.
“In January of 2021 when I was asked to be the project coordinator, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure that my experience could be classified as SOGIECE or conversion therapy. I never attended a formalized conversion therapy program or camp run by a religious organization. Healthcare practitioners misdiagnosed me or refused me access to care.
In reality, I spent 27 years internalizing conversion therapy practices through prayer, the study of religious texts, disassociation from my body, and suppression or denial of my sexual and gender identities. I spent six years in counselling and change attempts using conversion therapy practices. I came out as a lesbian at age 33, and as a Trans man at age 51. I am now 61 and Queerly Heterosexual, but I spent decades of my life hiding in shame and fear and struggled with suicidal ideation until my mid-30s.
At times I wanted to crawl away and hide, be distracted by anything that silenced the emptiness, the pain, the wounds deep inside. I realized that in some ways, I am still more comfortable in shame, silence, and disassociation, than in any other way of being and living, but I was also filled with wonderment at the resiliency and courage of every single one of the participants.
However, many of us did not survive, choosing to end the pain and shame through suicide. Many of us are still victims in one way or another, still silenced by the shame, still afraid of being seen as we are. Still, many of us are survivors, and while it has not been an easy road, many of us are thrivers too,” said Jordan.
In addition, Jordan said conversion practices and programs are not easily defined or identified, and often capture only a fragment of pressures and messages that could be considered SOGIECE.
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