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Why it’s crucial to say that monkeypox is predominately affecting gay and bisexual men – Broadview Magazine

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This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Monkeypox virus, or MPXV, is an emerging threat to public health. The World Health Organization recently declared the current outbreak a global public health emergency.

For decades, several African countries have experienced ongoing outbreaks of MPXV, driven primarily by contact with animals and transmission within households. However, before last year, most people in Europe and North America had never even heard of the disease. That was until the current outbreak among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

Debates over the epidemiology of MPXV

Over the past several months, a controversy has raged about whether it’s OK to say that the current MPXV outbreak is primarily affecting gay and bisexual men, and that it is primarily being spread through close personal contact, such as sex.

As a social and behavioural epidemiologist working with marginalized populations, including gay and bisexual men, I believe it’s important that people know that sexual and gender minority men are the primary victims of this MPXV outbreak. I believe this knowledge will help us end the outbreak before it bridges into other communities.

For reference, more than 90 percent of cases in non-endemic countries have been transmitted through intimate sexual contact, and the vast majority of cases are among gay men. Very few cases are linked to community transmission.

While these statistics are undisputed, some have feared that identifying sexual behaviour as the primary cause of current MPXV transmission would dampen the public health response. Others have warned that connecting MPXV to an already stigmatized community will worsen stigma towards gay sex.

Non-sexual transmission is possible, and a considerable threat

It is true that MPXV can transmit through more casual contact and through fomites (inanimate objects on which some microbes can survive, such as bed linens, towels or tables).

However, months into the current outbreak, we have not seen these routes emerge as important pathways of transmission. This may be due to changes in the fundamental transmission dynamic of MPXV or due to enhanced cleaning procedures implemented in response to COVID-19 in places such as gyms and restrooms.

Why it’s crucial to know MPXV affects gay and bisexual men

Informing the public about MPXV is important because public opinion plays an important role in shaping public health policies, such as who gets access to vaccines and what interventions are used to stop disease transmission.

A recent study conducted by my team aimed to demonstrate the importance of public health education by asking Canadians to participate in a discrete choice experiment.

We asked participants to choose between two hypothetical public health programs across eight head-to-head comparisons. Descriptions for each hypothetical program identified the number of years of life gained by patients, the health condition it addressed and the population it was tailored for.

From our analyses of this data, we learned a lot about how the public wants public health dollars to be spent and how their knowledge and bias shapes these preferences. There were five major takeaways:

  1. People preferred interventions that added more years to participants’ life expectancy. In fact, for one year of marginal life gained, there was a 15 per cent increase in the odds that participants chose that program.
  2. We found that people tended to favour interventions that focused on treatment rather than prevention. While this approach is emotionally intuitive, large bodies of evidence suggest that it is more cost-effective to prevent disease than to treat it. As the old saying goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  3. People generally preferred interventions for common chronic diseases — such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer — and were less likely to favour interventions for behaviour-related conditions, such as sexually transmitted infections.
  4. People generally preferred programs focused on the general population as opposed to those tailored for key marginalized populations. In fact, people were least likely to prefer interventions tailored for sexual and gender minorities.
  5. The bias against behavioural interventions and those tailored for key populations was overcome when the programs addressed a health condition that was widely understood to be linked to the population the program was tailored to. For example, people were more likely to support interventions for sexually transmitted infections when these interventions were tailored for people engaged in sex work or for gay and bisexual men.

This study highlights why it is important to educate the public about health inequities. People are smarter, more pragmatic, and more compassionate than we give them credit for. If we take the time to share evidence with them about the challenges that stigmatized communities face, they will be more willing to support policies and efforts to address these challenges.

Ending MPXV quickly is critical, especially since the virus has the potential to evolve in ways that could make the disease more infectious. Protecting gay and bisexual men first, protects everyone.

We should, of course, always be aware of the potential harms and the corrosive effects of stigma. However, in public health, honesty really is the best policy.

***

Kiffer George Card is an assistant professor in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

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B.C. pharmacists to renew, issue prescriptions as part of reworked health plan

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia is expanding the power of pharmacists to renew and issue some prescriptions as part of a wide-ranging plan to relieve pressure on the province’s struggling health-care system.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday the five-year health human resources strategy aims to redesign how health staff work, as well as retain, recruit and train workers through 70 action items.

“We intend to work together with every aspect of the health-care system and with patients to develop solutions that will make a career in health care a more sustainable and rewarding opportunity for people,” Dix told a news conference.

The past three years have added demands to an already overburdened system, Dix acknowledged. The COVID-19 pandemic, toxic drug deaths and aging population contributing to exhaustion and burnout among health workers, he said.

The problem isn’t limited to B.C., with the World Health Organization forecasting a global shortage of 15 million health workers by 2030, he added.

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 with chronic illnesses whose family doctors have retired or left their practices.

Next spring, pharmacists will begin prescribing drugs for minor ailments like urinary tract infections, allergies and indigestion, as well contraception, meaning patients won’t have to visit a doctor first.

The changes bring B.C. in line with guidelines set out by Health Canada and other provinces.

Jamie Wigston, a practising pharmacist and president of the BC Pharmacy Association, said the shift won’t require new training for pharmacists, whose skills have been underused.

“We’ve been trained to do much more than what we’ve been able to do for a long time,” Wigston said.

Empowering pharmacists to renew prescriptions is especially important for patients with mental health and substance use disorders, who need access to medications in a timely manner, he said.

The announcement will also help patients in rural areas who may have community pharmacies, but where a medical clinic or prescriber may be hours away, he added.

The government said renewing prescriptions for patients without family doctors would be at the discretion of the pharmacist. If uncomfortable, the pharmacist could consult with a doctor by phone or send the patient for a medical assessment.

The move comes amid an ongoing crisis in health care that has seen emergency department closures due to staffing shortages and long wait times to see specialists.

About one in five residents don’t have a family doctor.

The plan will also see paramedic training expanded to include pain management and enhanced airway management techniques. Firefighters and other first responders will be equipped to take blood pressure, use medication for life-threatening allergic reactions and prepare patients for transport by ambulance.

The plan does not cover pay for health workers, but Dix said the province is in ongoing talks with Doctors of BC, representing 14,000 physicians in B.C., to create a new compensation model for family practice doctors. Pay and benefits for workers like paramedics would generally be dealt with during bargaining, he added.

Another action item in the plan includes 128 new seats to the University of B.C.’s faculty of medicine and $1.5 million to help establish a previously announced new medical school at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.

Redesigning the system will include establishing clear workload standards, using technology more efficiently and adopting team-based models of care, the government said during a technical briefing.

It said it’s also working to lower “artificial barriers” to verify international qualifications for nurses, doctors and other health workers, reducing what is typically an 18-month to two-year process.

Expanding employer-based training will also allow health workers to earn and learn at the same time, officials say.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2022.

 

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

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Java Burn Reviews – Effective Ingredients for Weight Loss or Bogus Claims – Maple Ridge News

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More consumers started consuming Java Burn, and the number is increasing every day. More consumers are pouring product-friendly reviews furnishing relevant information about Java Burn, its ingredients, recommended dosage, price list, complaints, and crucial F&A. Java Burn is a weight loss beverage consisting of green tea extract (300mg), green coffee bean extract (200mg), L-theanine (100mg), vitamin B-12(5mcg), chromium (20mcg), vitamin B6 (1mg) and vitamin D3(20mcg) totaling a 700mg dose. Innovator of this unique formula, John Barban, deems these components will stimulate a state of metabolism called nutritional synergy. This fat-burning supplement dissolves with any beverage without altering its taste and flavor. This morning beverage peps you up all through the day.

Enhance memory power

A healthy diet is crucial for overall well-being, and nutritional synergy fortifies the nutritional value of the foods you eat. The University of Illinois, in a study, found an association between specific nutrients and brain functioning in older individuals. Java Burn supports a weight loss regime without vigorous exercise and a restricted diet and enhances your memory power, intelligence, and brain function associated with global-oriented behavior. This nutritional supplement is organic; the flavorless powder stimulates healthy synergy, a form of metabolism when consumed with a balanced proportion of minerals and vitamins.

Instantly soluble

Java Burn is a weight loss supplement that comes in a tasteless powder form. The product is only available on the official website. A pouch of Java Burn costs $49; its organic ingredients instantly dissipate in coffee or other beverages stimulating metabolism. The product’s creator suggests you put one bag of the supplement in coffee, stir it well and sip. The powder is flavorless, so it does not alter the aroma or taste of brimming coffee. When your body’s metabolism rate increases, it burns the stubborn fat cells rapidly, and you shed that extra body weight.

The components of Java Burn are vegetarian and non-GMO, with no side effects, and a third party examines its effectiveness and safety. A pouch contains thirty sachets; drink one daily with an aromatic brimming cup of coffee.

Non-GMO

The critical elements of Java Burn contain green tea and coffee extracts, L-theanine, and chromium. The powder, when intakes in the morning, enhances metabolism speed and efficiency by 500%, and the fat-burning process continues throughout the day. The product reduces the feeling of hunger and optimizes nutrition synergy. All product ingredients are non-GMO, citing they are not genetically modified. Many scientists and environmentalists advocate that GMO products pose serious health threats. Furthermore, the formula does not use fillers, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners/colors, stimulants, or preservatives. Healthy men and women from the age group of twenty-five to sixty-five can enjoy this supplement for weight loss.

Stimulates metabolism

Genetic, junk food habits, and poor lifestyle are significant reasons for obesity; this fat-burning supplement is the easiest way to eliminate the extra pounds. The product naturally stimulates your metabolism process and kicks up fat burning procedures. The product goes well with any type of coffee, regular, espresso, American, and light, medium, or dark roast. The product is manufactured in the US, complying with GMP guidelines. Java Burn effectively burns the stored fat cells, thus supporting the weight loss program. When you consume the supplement mixed with coffee, its effectiveness increases as it is assimilated into the bloodstream. For an optimal result, the product needs to be consumed within two years from the date of manufacture.

2-3 months

When consumed with coffee, Java Burn suppresses hunger, and you need not count your calorie intake. To get the best result out of the product, you need to consume it for two to three months consecutively. It is the last time your body gets acclimatized to the product and starts burning stored fat by increasing metabolism and efficiency. Till now, no side effects have been reported by consumers, and the possibility is almost nil as all ingredients are non –GMO and natural.

Every manufactured sachet undergoes rigorous testing by a third party ensuring quality, effectiveness, and purity. The reviews submitted by thousands of consumers on the official website testify to the efficacy and safety of the supplement. If any health issue arises after consuming the fat-burning supplement, immediately contact a health care professional and stop taking the supplement.

Basal metabolism

The metabolism rate affects the calorie of fat you burn during exercise, sleep or rest. Metabolism, aka metabolic rate, is a biochemical process in living organisms that breaks up nutrients and fat to generate the energy necessary for survival. In simpler terms, the rate at which your body produces energy or burns calories. The human body burns calories in three ways; when the body is at rest (Basal Metabolism) to keep the body running. BMR (basal metabolic rate) is, to a degree, dependent on genetics. Metabolism occurs when you perform daily activities and exercise.

Factors

As metabolism is partly genetic, to change it, you need outside influence; people with higher metabolism feel more vigorous. On the other hand, people with poor metabolism feel lethargic; the body resists the fat burning process and the stored fat cells in the belly and thigh do not shed. As the body burns fewer calories, less energy is produced, and the person feels sluggish. Java Burn, coupled with coffee, claims it increases the user’s metabolic rate. Consequently, the mulish stored fat starts to disintegrate. If you achieve a higher metabolic rate, the body will burn more calories at rest and daily errands. Lean people are more active than obese ones as their metabolic rate is higher in the no exercise period than the latter.

Money Back Guarantee

The product is only available at the official portal. It is applicable for any number of orders. One pouch containing thirty sachets costs $49. If you order three pouches, the cost is $34 for each unit, and you get a supply for three months. Six pouches cost $29 per pouch plus the shipping charge. A sixty-day money-back guarantee comes with the supplement, so you can return it if not satisfied within the stipulated time. Due to its ongoing popularity, many counterfeit products torment the market, so purchase them online from the official website.

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Bad flu season predicted for B.C. – Kamloops This Week

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After two years of record-low influenza rates, experts are warning the flu will likely be back in full swing this season.

That’s because of a general lifting of pandemic health measures, such as required masking, gathering size limits and travel restrictions, according to pharmacist Kim Myers.

“It definitely increases the spread of germs and colds,” said Myers, who works in the Greater Victoria area.

Health Canada estimates that in a non-pandemic year, about 12,200 Canadians are hospitalized with the flu or flu-like symptoms. Getting an exact number is difficult as only nine of the country’s provinces and territories report hospitalizations to the national flu surveillance system, FluWatch.

Flu hospitalizations dropped during pandemic

of those which do report — Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan — 5,176 influenza-related hospitalizations were reported during the 2017-2018 season and 3,657 were reported in 2018-2019.

During the 2019-2020 season, half of which occurred within the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 2,493 hospitalizations. That number dropped to zero in 2020-2021, again not including Ontario, Quebec, B.C. or Nunavut.

Myers said it’s hard to tell whether this year’s flu season will be as bad as pre-pandemic years, but that it will almost certainly be worse than the last year or two. She said the awareness the pandemic has raised around the importance of vaccines makes her hopeful more people will get the flu shot this year. Already, Myers said, people coming into her pharmacy are asking when shots will be available.

Possible correlation between COVID-19 and influenza vaccine uptake

B.C. did see a small spike in flu vaccine uptake in the first year of the pandemic. In 2018, 34.6 per cent of people got the shot, followed by 37.2 per cent in 2019 and 42.1 per cent in 2020, according to Statistics Canada. 2021 rates are not yet available.

A 2021 research paper published in medical journal Vaccine found the primary indicator of whether Canadians will get a vaccination is whether they have been vaccinated before, suggesting those who got the COVID vaccine may be more likely to get the influenza one.

More than 87 per cent of British Columbians have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine as of Sept. 26.

Beginning in early October, B.C. residents will have the option of receiving COVID vaccine boosters and flu shots at the same time. The province said it will have the capacity to vaccinate about 250,000 people per week that way.

Who is most impacted?

For the majority of people, the flu means up to a week of sickness, but for young children, elderly people and the immunocompromised the virus can make it significantly harder for them to fight off infections.

Health Canada said 3,500 deaths are influenza-related each year, although that number is based off a mathematical estimate, rather than actual yearly data.

Myers said the best thing people can do to stop the spread of the virus and protect those most vulnerable to it is to follow many of the same precautions put in place for COVID-19: get vaccinated, wash your hands, wear a mask, stay home if you’re sick and minimize your number of crowded public outings.

“It’s not just for themselves, it’s trying to do it for those around them who are vulnerable and for those who aren’t able to receive vaccines. It’s important that we try and do that to help protect them,” Myers said.

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