Connect with us

Health

Will there be a twindemic? Fighting COVID-19 means fighting the flu – Ottawa Citizen

Published

 on


Article content continued

The flu presents its own dangers. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are an average of about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu every year. Based on laboratory testing, there were 42,541 cases of seasonal influenza in 2019-2020.

“Everyone should get the flu vaccine this year,” Wilson said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

Concern about a potential twindemic is not overblown, epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Kwong said.

“Most health care workers would say we’re barely managing in a normal flu season. We’re always on the verge of collapse. If you add COVID, we’re in big trouble,”  said Kwong, a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

“The biggest problem with how we view influenza is that there are other respiratory viruses circulating,” he said. “The flu is a whole bunch of viruses with a whole bunch of different presentations. They’re impossible to distinguish without lab tests.”

If people let down their guard on measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene, there will be a twindemic, Kwong said.

“If people keep having parties, we’ll have influenza. But, if you can control COVID, you can control influenza.”

It is also possible, but rare, to be infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time. A study published in June in the Journal of Medical Virology found that, among 1,103 patients who had been diagnosed with COVID‐19 in three hospitals in Istanbul, Turkey, six were diagnosed as also being infected with influenza. Co-infected patients have been reported in China, Germany, Iran,  Japan, Spain and the United States.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Quebec gym, yoga and dance business owners vow to reopen despite COVID-19 measures – Global News

Published

 on


A coalition of about 200 Quebec gym, yoga, dance and martial arts business owners say they intend to reopen their doors on Thursday in defiance of provincial health rules.

The businesses are calling on Quebec Premier François Legault to lift COVID-19 restrictions that forced fitness facilities to close this month.

In a statement, they say their facilities contribute to the overall physical and mental health of the population and they were not the source of COVID-19 outbreaks.

They say the lockdown measures will force them out of business after they’ve made significant investments to comply with health measures during the pandemic.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

READ MORE: Quebec gym owners and athletes in coronavirus red zones prepare for 2nd shutdown

The owners say they intend to reopen across the province but will back down if health authorities can demonstrate by Thursday that their operations have led to outbreaks.

Story continues below advertisement

On Oct. 8, Quebec introduced new public health measures for regions under the province’s highest COVID-19 alert level, shuttering gyms, putting limits on team sports and making masks mandatory for high school students.

Last week, Legault hinted that some red zone restrictions would remain in place even as the initial 28-day lockdown in Montreal and Quebec City come to an end on Wednesday.

Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, are to hold a news conference this afternoon.


Click to play video 'Quebec gym owners, athletes in COVID-19 red zones brace for 2nd shutdown'



2:08
Quebec gym owners, athletes in COVID-19 red zones brace for 2nd shutdown


Quebec gym owners, athletes in COVID-19 red zones brace for 2nd shutdown

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Coalition of fitness centres threatens to reopen regardless of Quebec's red zone restrictions – CBC.ca

Published

 on


A coalition of Quebec gyms, yoga studios and other recreational activity centres are threatening to reopen at the end of the week, even if the province extends the 28-day partial lockdown.

Such facilities have been closed since Oct. 8, as part of a series of measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Premier François Legault has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. today, where he is expected to extend many of the measures imposed earlier this month in red zones.

Owners of fitness facilities say they have spent thousands of dollars to ensure their locations are safe and that their clients depend on exercise to keep physically and mentally healthy.

In a statement issued Monday, the group — which says it numbers more than 200 — says they will reopen Oct. 29 regardless of what the government decides.

“All the sanitary measures in force will be respected,” the statement said.  

“If the government by then can prove to us, through studies, that we are the source of the outbreak, we will reverse it.”

Question of mental and physical health, owners say

Dan Marino and Christian Ménard, two of the men representing the coalition, both have shared social media posts publicly that provide misleading information about COVID-19.

For example, Marino has shared posts on his Facebook page that question the effectiveness of masks and minimize the dangers of the novel coronavirus. Ménard has asked people to sign a petition against Quebec’s mandatory mask law.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Marino said It would be unacceptable for gyms to stay closed.

“I have heard from too many people who are in distress,” said Marino who owns Mega Fitness Gym in Quebec CIty. “It’s mental and physical health.”

Dany Laflamme, owner of Nova Gym, a martial arts centre in Quebec City, said customers are calling every day.

“It’s truly sad. My customers are my family,” he said.

Christian Ménard, who runs Pro Gym Montréal, said his clients are eager to get back to work on their bodies and minds. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Gyms have been the site of outbreaks in Quebec and neighbouring Ontario.

But regardless of the risk, the coalition says customers want to get back to their favourite gym or studio.

Tanya de Montign told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak that the gym closures have had a substantial impact on her clients’ mental health.

She owns the Idolem yoga studio in Brossard, and when she closed her doors yet again earlier this month, she said “I had people leaving my studio crying.”

“I had people actually telling me they didn’t know how they would end up being able to get through these 28 days without us,” she said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Sobering COVID-19 milestones reached by hardest hit Canadian provinces – National Observer

Published

 on


The Canadian provinces hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic released sobering numbers on Sunday, with Quebec’s overall case count passing the 100,000 mark and Ontario registering more than 1,000 single-day cases for the first time since the start of the worldwide outbreak.

Despite registering comparable daily tallies, the two provinces long at the epicentre of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak appeared to be on opposite trajectories.

Public health experts noted that Quebec’s long-standing high case counts appeared to be levelling off, while stressing the week ahead will be crucial to bring Ontario’s surging numbers back under control.

Quebec health officials reported 879 new cases, bringing the province’s total to 100,114 infections. The province also recorded 11 additional deaths attributed to the virus, for a total of 6,143.

“Comparing the past two weeks, we see that the number of cases is stable, but remains high,” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter, urging people to make an effort to reduce transmission of the virus.

The province’s recent COVID-19 numbers are more encouraging than they were last month, however, said Helene Carabin, a professor at Universite de Montreal.

Carabin said Quebec’s COVID-19 reproduction number, which measures the virus’ ability to spread, is slowly creeping lower — a positive sign that indicates people are following public health guidelines.

“The population has clearly understood that in order to limit transmission, we have to be more careful,” she said in an interview.

“We’re going in the right direction, unlike what was the case in September. Now what it tells us is that probably we will continue to have to keep being very careful during the winter months for it not to creep up.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s top public health officer, said in a statement Sunday that a “resurgence” of COVID-19 continues across the country.

Tam said there is a concern that Canada has not yet seen the full impact of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, as hospitalizations and deaths generally lag behind case numbers.

Quebec’s COVID-19 cases leveling off but this week will be crucial to bring Ontario’s surging numbers back under control. #COVID-19 #Ontario #Quebec

Canada had 215,879 total cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 9,940 deaths.

Manitoba announced 161 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and the deaths of four people — two of which were related to an outbreak at a Winnipeg long-term care home where 17 people have now died.

Saskatchewan reported 60 new cases, down from its record-high of 78 that was set on Saturday, and no new deaths have been reported since Oct. 11.

Public health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case of COVID-19, while officials in New Brunswick reported two new infections and two additional deaths.

In Ontario, which recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a 24-hour period on Sunday for the first time since the pandemic took hold, at least one medical expert voiced concerns about the overall trend of the provincial figures.

The province reported 1,042 new COVID-19 cases, breaking the previous day’s single-day peak of 978 new infections. It also reported seven new deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

“Obviously no one wants to see 1,000 new cases per day,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and researcher at Toronto General Hospital.

Bogoch said that while the cause of the recent spike is not entirely clear, the week ahead will offer a critical window for assessing the province’s progress in combatting the pandemic.

“Are we going to start to see a plateau in these numbers, reflective of a successful policy implementation in the hotspots in Ontario,” Bogoch asked, referring to major metropolitan regions where the bulk of the province’s latest cases have been concentrated.

“Or will we see a continuing growth in the number of new cases per day?”

Both Ontario and Quebec have reimposed restrictions over the past several weeks to try to contain the spread of the virus during the second wave of the pandemic.

Several regions of Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City, were placed under the highest COVID-19 alert level, which forced the closure of bars and other public venues.

Quebecers in high-risk areas have also been told to avoid seeing anyone who does not live in their household.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford has promised to provide an update on Monday on whether the Halton and Durham regions would join Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York in “modified Stage 2” of the province’s economic reopening plan.

Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people in Stage 2 regions, and gyms, casinos, cinemas and other venues in those areas must also be closed.

Public health officials across Canada have urged people to be extra vigilant during the second wave of the pandemic, as colder weather pushes people indoors.

In her statement, Tam said influenza and other respiratory infections place an added strain on hospitals in the fall and winter months, making it even more important to heed preventative measures.

“Right now, doing the best thing to keep our family, friends and community safer means keeping safely apart,” she said.

On Sunday, 278 people were hospitalized in Ontario due to the virus, including 79 in intensive care. In Quebec, 551 hospitalizations were recorded, of which 97 were in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.

–with files from Holly McKenzie-Sutter in Toronto, Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton and Michael MacDonald in Halifax.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending