Canadian pediatricians are reporting numerous vaping-related injuries, with one third of cases involving ongoing health problems.
Interim data from the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program highlight the risks of vaping as well as non-medical cannabis use, particularly accidental ingestion of edibles.
A one-time survey of about 1,100 doctors found 88 cases of vaping illness or injury over a 12-month period, with one quarter of kids hospitalized.
Dr. Nicholas Chadi, a specialist in adolescent and addiction medicine at the University of Montreal, suspects this is just the “tip of the iceberg” since the numbers don’t include kids who turn to their family doctor or a nurse with vaping problems.
Chadi found it “very concerning” that about a third had ongoing issues and says vaping dangers should be raised with kids and teens as they prepare to return to school and reunite with friends.
“If we look at what might be happening in smaller cities where we have emergency room doctors who are not pediatricians receiving these kids, there are probably many, many more cases of these injuries happening in Canada,” says Chadi, also affiliated with Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre.
Children and youth most often suffered respiratory problems or nicotine toxicity, which can cause a very rapid heart rate, dizziness, headaches, or vomiting.
The data did not reveal what ongoing issues they suffered, but Chadi suspects they included cough or shortness of breath and possibly external wounds or burns that needed time to heal.
WATCH | Smoking or vaping may increase risk of a severe coronavirus infection:
The survey also did not capture how many kids may be addicted to vaping products, something Chadi says he expects to examine in a two-year follow-up study.
Thirteen cases involved kids who drank e-liquids or other vaping substances. Half the time this was by accident, and was more common among toddlers and preschoolers.
But the other half of incidents were on purpose, and typically involved those age 15 and older, says Chadi.
Teens tend towards riskier behaviour because their brains are still developing, but Chadi notes their lungs are still maturing, too, making the impact of dicey decisions more serious.
“They might be using more of it, they might be trying to trick the device or play with it to make it stronger, to make it blow more aerosol or things like that, which will increase the risk of injury,” he says of other teen vaping habits.
“But we also know that the lungs of a teenager can be more fragile to certain chemicals because they’re still growing, they’re still developing.”
Chadi says those findings only point to an association between vaping and a COVID-19 diagnosis, noting the study also suggested young vapers were more likely to be tested for the virus.
He says that might be because respiratory symptoms common to vaping are similar to those of COVID-19, such as coughing.
When it came to cannabis-related injuries, the surveillance program found almost all of the 36 cases reported required hospitalization, with an average patient aged 9 to 10 years old.
Not all cases involved edibles, but a third of them involved kids younger than 12 who accidentally ate cannabis products.
Because edibles have only been legal since December 2019, researchers say it’s worth dedicating more time to examining the impact of legalization on kids.
Eight cases were teens who experienced hyperemesis syndrome — a condition that causes repeated and severe bouts of vomiting.
The Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program is a joint initiative of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society.
The two-year longitudinal study on cannabis is set to wrap in October. The two-year vaping study will begin this fall.
COVID-19 case count increases in Manitoba; two more deaths reported – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com
WINNIPEG—Manitoba’s chief public health officer says he’s worried by an increase in COVID-19 cases in Winnipeg and that some people are going to many different locations while symptomatic.
“It’s concerning,” Dr. Brent Roussin said Monday.
The number of active cases in the capital city has almost tripled to more than 280 since the start of September. Sixteen of 22 new provincial cases reported Monday were in Winnipeg.
The province identified several Winnipeg restaurants, bars and gyms as sites of possible exposures over the last week. There have also been cases in schools and from gatherings in homes.
Roussin said the number of contacts for each person who tests positive has increased, which is putting pressure on staff tasked with tracking them. One person who tested positive in Winnipeg had 50 contacts, according to recently released data in the province’s public health report for the week of Sept. 6 to 12.
Roussin said mandating masks and bringing back other restrictions are on the table. But for now, the province is monitoring the situation.
Roussin is encouraging people to wear masks even if not officially required.
“If the vast majority of Manitobans want to wear a mask in indoor public places, we don’t really need a mask mandate.”
Roussin also announced that two more Manitobans have died after testing positive for COVID-19. That brings the total in the province to 18. The recent deaths were of a man in his 80s in the southern health region and a woman in her 80s in the Prairie Mountain region.
Those areas saw a resurgence in positive cases in July and August. As a result, specific regulations around masks and group sizes were put in place in Prairie Mountain, which includes Brandon. Infection numbers in those regions have since dropped, while cases in Winnipeg have surged.
The surge prompted the captain of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets to make a request on social media for mandatory masks.
“Time for universal mask mandate. Why not? Let’s take care of each other,” read a post on Blake Wheeler’s Twitter account, directed to Premier Brian Pallister.
When asked about the request, the premier said he would defer to health experts.
“I personally have a ton of affection for Blake Wheeler and the way he plays hockey,” Pallister said.
“To make sure that we get through this together, we have to demonstrate that we can respect those who we’ve put in a position of trusted leadership. And Brent Roussin’s been put in that position and it’s really important we respect that.
“It doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything Brent says or does — that’s not what I’m saying. But I am saying that I am going to respect … what our experienced public health officials decide.”
Also Monday, the government revealed details of how it will spend its $85.4-million share of recently announced federal funding to help schools during the pandemic.
Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the money is to help enhance remote learning for students who can’t attend classes, such as those with chronic health conditions who are advised by doctors to not attend.
Remote learning is also available for some high school students in more-crowded schools and for students whose classes have been temporarily cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Goertzen said the province is not expanding remote learning to make it an option for any student who wants it.
Two more Alberta schools with in-school transmission; 1,459 active cases province-wide – Calgary Herald
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There are two schools in the province with outbreaks of five or more cases, including St. Wilfrid Elementary in Calgary and Vimy Ridge School. And the list of Calgary schools with outbreaks of two to four cases now includes Notre Dame High School, Lester B. Pearson High School, Henry Wise Wood High School, Auburn Bay School, Crescent Heights High School, Chris Akkerman School, Saddle Ridge School and Apostles of Jesus.
“Every single Albertan can make school reopening successful by working to limit and minimize community transmission. And again, that’s the message I want to make sure everyone understands,” said Hinshaw.
Meanwhile in British Columbia, the Ministry of Health has removed 10 symptoms from the student health checklist — including sore throat, runny nose, headache and fatigue — because they are common in children and there’s a low probability these symptoms by themselves are indications of COVID-19.
When asked if this is something being considered in Alberta, Hinshaw said it has been discussed at length because of the pressures the current checklist puts on families that have to adjust their daily schedules when they need to keep their child home from school because of a runny nose.
“In Alberta, we are not far enough along yet to know whether or not we could take some of those symptoms off of our list, without increasing the risk that COVID-19 could be introduced into the school,” she explained.
“We try to reach the right balance between keeping our kids in school, and making sure that their learning is as smooth as possible while at the same time, minimizing the risk of the COVID-19 introduction and spread. Right now, we are keeping our symptom list as is.”
Five more Manitoba healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19 – CTV News Winnipeg
Five Manitoba healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19 in the span of a week.
The latest numbers from the Manitoba government’s surveillance data, from Sept. 6 to 12, shows that a total of 88 healthcare workers have contracted the disease since the beginning of the pandemic. This is an increase of five healthcare workers compared to the week before.
Of these 88 workers, 74 have recovered from COVID-19 and gone back to work.
According to the data, which monitors the intensity, characteristics, transmission and geographic spread of the disease, 29 of these workers are healthcare aids, 23 are nurses, nine are physicians or physicians in training, five are social/support workers, four are medical clerks and 18 fall into a combined category.
The majority of the 88 workers – 64 per cent – contracted the disease through close contact with a known case, about 13 per cent got it from travel, and for the rest of the cases, the source is unknown.
The province is reporting that a total of 20 pregnant Manitobans have gotten COVID-19, which is an increase of two pregnant cases from the week before.
During the week of Sept. 6 to 12, there were three more COVID-19 outbreaks in Manitoba, bringing the total number since the start of the pandemic to 20 outbreaks. Of these three new outbreaks, two were at long-term care facilities and one was at a school.
Over the span of this week, the province saw a decrease in terms of the number of confirmed cases and the volume of people going for tests. There were 108 lab-confirmed cases, which is down from 128 in the week before, and an average of 1,300 people were tested each day, down from 1,500 the previous week.
But, the province saw an increase in its test positivity rate, moving from 1.2 per cent last week to 1.4 per cent this week.
Of the 108 new cases during this week, 63 per cent were from Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, 14 per cent were from the Prairie Mountain Health Authority, and 13 per cent were in the Southern Health – Santé Sud Regional Health Authority. The Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority also accounted for about 10 per cent of cases.
The province is reporting that 57 per cent of the 108 cases were contracted through close contacts to known cases, and two per cent were from travel.
Of all of Manitoba’s cases, nearly 63 per cent contracted the disease from close contact with a known case. For more than 16 per cent, the cause is unknown, and approximately 15 per cent got it from travel.
For more than 5 per cent of cases, the source is still being investigated.
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