Posts Tagged "cases"


B.C. ends practice of ‘birth alerts’ in child-welfare cases

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Maternity ward at Richmond Hospital

Francis Georgian / PNG

The B.C. government is ending a practice that allowed hospitals to inform child-welfare agencies of possible safety risks to infants at birth without the consent of parents.

Katrine Conroy, the minister of Children and Family Development, says so-called hospital or birth alerts have “primarily” been used in cases involving marginalized women and “disproportionately” in births for Indigenous women.

Conroy says the province is changing its approach in cases where children might be at risk.

Instead of alerts, Conroy says the province will work collaboratively with parents expecting a child to keep newborns safe and families together. She says birth alerts are used by a number of provinces and territories, but B.C. is ending the decades-old practice effective immediately.

Conroy says Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, has called for the practice to stop.

“We acknowledge the trauma women experience when they become aware that a birth alert has been issued,” Conroy says in a statement released Monday. “Health-care providers and social-service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent from those parents and will stop the practice of birth alerts.”


Global measles cases mean B.C. push for vaccination to continue: health minister

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s health minister says the number of children fully immunized against measles rose by 37,525 between April and June as part of a catch-up program.

Adrian Dix says a requirement for parents to report students’ immunization records in September is expected to further increase vaccination rates in a province that has seen 29 cases of the infectious disease this year.

Dix says up to 50,000 children begin kindergarten every year so the push for vaccination will continue as measles remains a public health issue, especially given that Washington state declared an emergency in January over a rising number of cases and rates of infection increased around the world.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

Nick Procaylo /


Dix says the number of vaccinations at doctors’ offices and pharmacists has also increased, with 1,220 people getting immunized by pharmacists between April and June, up from 21 during the same period last year.

He says more public education about measles led to a large number of students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 getting themselves immunized at over 1,000 clinics set up at schools.

Health authorities in B.C. also held over 3,500 public health clinics during the three-month catch-up period so people could get immunized.

“The big challenge is that there’s a tendency to respond to these things when they’re seen as crises and after the crisis ends you sort of take the foot off the gas and we don’t intend to do that,” Dix says. “By changing the way that we engage with people on immunization that’s going to continue.”

Two separate doses of the measles mumps and rubella vaccine are needed to provide immunity against the highly contagious airborne disease, the first dose at 12 months of age and the second usually between the ages of four and six.

Symptoms of the disease that was eradicated in Canada in 1998 include fever, cough, runny nose and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

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Two more measles cases in Vancouver, bringing total to 15 infections

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Two new cases of measles have been reported in Vancouver, bringing the total number of infections in the area to 15.

Vancouver Coastal Health said both new cases are related to the outbreak centred on two French-language schools.

It says both individuals had been receiving follow-up care as they were known to have been exposed to people with measles infections.

Of the 15 measles cases in the Vancouver area, 12 are related to the school outbreak that began when one child acquired the disease while travelling in Asia.

The health authority says the three other cases are unrelated to the school outbreak and were acquired while the people were travelling.

The authority says it’s possible that more cases might occur in people who were previously exposed, since the incubation period for measles is 21 days.

A nurse prepares a combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella

Luke Hendry /

Luke Hendry/Belleville Intellige

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Two new measles cases in Vancouver as outbreak spreads to Edmonton

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Vancouver health authorities confirmed two new cases of measles in the city, separate from the ongoing outbreak linked to two francophone schools.

The two individuals contracted measles while travelling and are unrelated to the outbreak that began at École Jules‐Verne and École Rose-Des-Vents.

The update came the same day Alberta Health Services issued a measles exposure warning in that province, after a passenger with measles travelled from Vancouver to Edmonton on an Air Canada flight earlier this month.

According to AHS, an individual with a confirmed case of measles was found to have visited Leduc, Alta. while infectious. The person boarded Air Canada flight AC236 departing from Vancouver International Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 10:25 a.m. and landed at Edmonton International Airport around 12:54 p.m.


The infected traveller then took an airport shuttle, which dropped off travellers to Paradise Inn and Suites, Crystal Star Inn, Wyndham Garden Edmonton Airport, and Wingate by Wyndham between 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Other exposure times include Feb. 12 at Walmart Supercentre (5 to 7 p.m.); Feb. 13 on board an airport shuttle pickup from Crystal Star Inn (6:30 to 7a.m.), a Canadian North Flight #5T-444 to Inuvik departing from Edmonton airport around 7:45 a.m.; Feb. 12 and 13 at Stars Inn Hotel (3 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.)

“Given the timeframe of the potential exposure, post-exposure immunization is not effective,” read a AHS health advisory.

“Individuals are encouraged to monitor for symptoms for 21 days after the date of potential exposure, which could be up to March 5, 2019.”

VCH is expected to provide an update Sunday afternoon about the new cases of measles.

A measles outbreak is underway in Vancouver, after an unvaccinated child contracted the disease during a trip to Vietnam last month. The child visited B.C. Children’s Hospital and returned to school in late January and early February, prompting Vancouver Coastal Health to issue a warning.

Up to 36 people linked to the child’s school have been ordered to stay at home because they are either unvaccinated and are waiting out the incubation period, or have been able to provide proof of immunization.

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Salmonella outbreak: 37 cases in B.C. may be linked to cucumbers

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The Public Health Agency of Canada says an investigation is underway into an outbreak of salmonella infections involving five provinces, with 37 confirmed cases in British Columbia.

sommail / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Public Health Agency of Canada says an investigation is underway into an outbreak of salmonella infections involving five provinces, mostly in Western Canada.

The agency says on its website that the source of the outbreak has not been identified yet, although many of the people who became sick reported eating cucumbers.

It says that as of Friday, there have been 37 confirmed cases in B.C., five in Alberta, and one case each in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

The person from Quebec reported travelling to British Columbia before becoming ill, the agency says.

The cases occurred between mid-June and late-September, and nine people have been hospitalized.

The agency says it’s collaborating with provincial public health agencies, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada as part of the investigation.

“The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as illnesses continue to be reported,” the statement on the Public Health Agency of Canada website says.

No deaths have been reported.

The agency says there is no evidence at this time to suggest that residents in central and Eastern Canada are affected by this outbreak.

Salmonella infection usually results from eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products.

Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.


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