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In the case of the flu, we have a weapon in place to help us fight off another H1N1pdm pandemic.
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Children won't be allowed into nursery or pre-school without proof.
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The early 20th century anti-vax argument was about freedom, conspiracies, pseudoscience and parental anxiety while nowadays...
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As a physician, I see the illnesses caused by vaccine-preventable diseases. No child should suffer from a disease that can be prevented by vaccines. I also see children who can't be immunized because of a medical condition such as cancer, and who rely on others around them to be immunized so the virus or bacteria does not spread. We all play an important role in preventing infections that we once feared.
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For more than 200 years, vaccines have been saving lives around the world. When children get vaccinated against a disease, they build up their immunity, making them stronger and more resistant to that disease. Getting vaccinated helps their body make antibodies that fight specific diseases, giving their immune system a boost.
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It's a scenario straight out of a horror movie. You start with a normal bout of strep throat and figure you're going to have to deal with that week-long stretch of pain and difficulty swallowing. But after a few days, things get much worse. You are diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, better known as flesh-eating disease.
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Despite the success of vaccines, mumps wasn't eradicated. Small pockets of infection continued to appear. These small outbreaks were difficult to control but eventually burned out such that they disappeared. For the most part, these isolated events were considered part of the ongoing reality of an ever-present virus.
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As Valentine's Day approaches, most Canadians turn their thoughts to love and all that comes with it. However, for public health officials, this year is particularly worrisome in the love department. It's all due to the rather unwelcome realization sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise in this country and are showing no signs of slowing.
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We are seeing a lot more activity this year compared to last year's flu season, which was relatively mild. It's important to understand that the flu strain circulating each year can change every flu season.
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Many Canadians may be putting themselves at risk of acquiring a number of preventable, travel-acquired illnesses. For those planning trips to warmer climates, including Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean, it is important to protect yourself from diseases that may not be prevalent in Canada, but are common in other countries.
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This week, as expected, flu has taken over the headlines. All across Canada, hospitals are being overwhelmed by patients suffering from this well-known disease. Yet, among those looking for medical assistance, many will not have the influenza virus but another lesser known pathogen.
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Many previous vaccine attempts have failed.
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Seniors are the most significantly affected. In Canada, seniors represent 15 per cent of our population, yet account for up to 40 per cent of all influenza infections, the majority of all hospitalizations and deaths from influenza. Why? Because seniors are more likely to be frail and have chronic medical conditions that put them at high risk for influenza and its complications.
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I know the flu vaccine doesn't fully protect me or my family from getting the flu. It is just one of the many strategies that I use during flu season to keep us healthy like frequent hand washing, adequate rest and a balanced diet. Vaccination decisions are a touchy subject for many people, so here's a snapshot of recent research..
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You know the time of year. The leaves are falling and all of the sudden Halloween is around the corner. The change of season brings other things, too. For one, flu activity starts to increase over the fall before peaking in the winter months.
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The Canadian Cancer Society is urging Canadians to get their children vaccinated against HPV -- a safe and effective way to prevent the cancer-causing infection. Despite many studies showing that the vaccine is safe and effective, a number of myths persist about HPV
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The rate of vaccine acquisition has remained relatively stable over the years suggesting the majority of Canadians are not raising their sleeves. While there is little doubt the vaccine is an excellent means to prevent infection, this message appears to be diluted by a number of other factors. For those responsible for ensuring the safety of Canadians the low turnout requires a more in-depth analysis to find a solution.
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Having personal reasons for not being vaccinated is no longer an allowable exception to this law.
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Last week they published an examination of vaccine hesitancy in Canada. Based on their results, the reasons behind the concern over vaccine may be far more troublesome than anyone believed.
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There may be a new way to develop these vaccines safely. Last week, an international team of researchers unveiled new means to make vaccine candidates from proteins. Instead of trying to modify or clone the proteins, these researchers have come up with an entirely new concept: they use bacterial superglue.
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Researchers have known the immune system plays a role in fighting the virus and other parts of the body do change. But a detailed account of what happens at the site of battle has been for the most part a mystery. Now an international team of researchers have given us a glimpse into the war happening inside.
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I'm not entirely sure why I write about my personal experiences parenting a child with autism for the mainstream media. Mostly I hope my own experiences may help someone else on their autism journey -- and they won't stumble through, as I have done in the early days. But what I'm never quite prepared for are the letters I get whenever I publish something about autism in the mainstream press. Here are a few responses that never fail to happen.
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The third Sustainable Development Goal is Good Health and Well-Being, the aim being to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." It's not a matter of how many new diseases we've found cures for, it's a matter of how we've managed to distribute vaccines, and other services to some of the most inaccessible people in the world.
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Over the past 15 years, Tanzania has made a concerted effort to immunize its children -- and has achieved a remarkable vaccination rate of almost 90 per cent. That's not good enough for the government and health organizations, though. They want to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. But figuring out which children have been missed is a huge challenge in a country where many families still live nomadic lives in remote areas. Enter Seattle health organization PATH and Canada's own Mohawk College, in Hamilton, Ont. They're helping out, not with more vaccines or nurses, but a database.
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We live in a province with a publicly funded vaccination program, however, the threat posed by vaccine preventable diseases is still with us, as we have seen in recent outbreaks of measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough). That's why getting vaccinated is important.
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Debunking myths about the "vaccine alternatives."
To the healthy individual, the term "flu season" may sound abstract, perhaps irrelevant. But the flu, or influenza, kills about 3,500 Canadians every year and causes about 12,200 of us to be hospitalized due to the illness itself or related complications.
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Emily was two and a half years old. She was a beautiful blonde toddler with a shy and quiet nature. For most of her life we lived in Niger. I always thought (and I still do) that it was a wonderful place for our children to grow up. I look back on the nine years we spent in Niger as among the happiest years of my life. I vividly remember the afternoon we spent relaxing at the pool of the old French club. Emily was full of life -- jumping and splashing in the pool with all the others. We went to church on the Sunday evening in a nearby village the night before she died.
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Probiotics offer a host of potential benefits ranging from better digestion to improved weight management and even better mental health. But until recently, no one has mentioned vaccines. Yet, a probiotic oral vaccine may one day be our route to protection against infection.
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The annual flu shot can be a dreaded battle for those with kids; tears and screaming as your little one is reminded of his/her last vaccine experience: a pointy needle and pain in the arm. But for those looking to escape the crying, screaming and the anxiety, there is another option.
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With winter cold and flu season upon us, it is a good time to nail down immune-boosting habits to ward off the ills of winter time germs. Emerging research now suggests that diet, exercise, age, psychological stress and herbal supplements may have an impact on the immune systems ability to fight off assaults from invading microorganisms.
The Alberta Health Services report notes that 101 people died in the province last year of flu-related causes, including 86 in hospitals.