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All posts by Dr. Tahmoures Bahrami

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of COVID-19

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common.

Symptoms have included:

  • cough
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs

In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

Think you might have COVID-19?

If you or your child become ill

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, reduce your contact with others:

  • isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others
    • if you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2-metre distance
  • visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority
    • call ahead to tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions

Children who have mild COVID-19 symptoms are able to stay at home with a caregiver throughout their recovery without needing hospitalization. If you are caring for a child who has suspected or probable COVID-19, it is important to follow the advice for caregivers. This advice will help you protect yourself, others in your home, as well as others in the community.

If you become sick while travelling back to Canada:

  • inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer
  • advise a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada if you believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms
    • this is required under the Quarantine Act
    • the Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow

Check your exposure risk

Have you been on a flight, cruise or train, or at a public gathering? Check the listed exposure locations to see if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Diagnosing coronavirus

Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and are confirmed through laboratory tests.

Treating coronavirus

Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should self-monitor and consult your health care provider. They may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.

Vaccine

If you have received a flu vaccine, it will not protect against coronaviruses.

At this time, a vaccine or therapy to treat or prevent this disease has not yet been developed. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global review of therapies that may be used to treat or prevent the disease.

Health Canada is fast tracking the importation and sale of medical devices used to diagnose, treat or prevent COVID-19.

About coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.

There have been 2 other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans. These are the:

  1. severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV)
  2. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV)

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he 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Source: Government of Ontario

website: ontario.ca

Learn how the Ministry of Health is helping to keep Ontarians safe during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.

Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit or your primary care physician if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional.

Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

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Coronavirus: Canadian transit providers plan safeguards against COVID-19 outbreak

Some Canadian transit agencies are quietly taking steps to protect customers against the novel coronavirus that’s been sounding alarm bells around the world.

Several say they have stepped up efforts to clean vehicles and stations and switched to more aggressive anti-microbial cleansers as a precaution.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Do Canadians really need to stockpile household items?

Public transit services say there is still no need for concern even as the number of Canadians diagnosed with the virus known as COVID-19 continues to climb.

Health officials have recorded at least 30 cases in the country so far, with Ontario reporting the highest number at 20.

One regional transit provider operating a heavily travelled bus and rail network in southern Ontario says it has already documented one instance of an infected passenger travelling on one of its vehicles.

READ MORE: Cancelling travel over coronavirus? Why a flight refund isn’t guaranteed

Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins says long-lasting disinfectant spray was tested on one of its GO Transit trains recently, and is being rolled out to the entire network after a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 used one of its vehicles to travel home from the airport.

Aikins said the product primarily targets bacteria and mould rather than viruses, but the company views it as a sensible precaution.

“We think it’s just incumbent on us to do whatever we can to protect our staff and our customers,” she said.

Source : GlobalNews

Website: Read more

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Novel Coronavirus in China

Current situation

An outbreak of respiratory illness, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, continues to spread within China. The outbreak now affects all provinces in the country. It is being caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Confirmed cases are being reported in countries outside of China, including Canada, and more are expected. Confirmed cases have also been reported amongst international travellers on cruise ships, resulting in the quarantine of passengers on board the vessel.

Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed human-to-human transmission is occurring. Available information indicates that older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are considered at higher risk of severe disease. Travellers who get ill while travelling in China may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care. For these reasons, it is recommended that travellers consider avoiding non-essential travel to China. 

Chinese officials in some cities are implementing exceptional measures to reduce further spread of the virus. Given these safety and security risks, the Government of Canada is continuing to recommend that Canadians avoid non-essential travel to China and avoid all travel to Hubei province.

On January 30, 2020 the WHO declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

About the 2019-nCoV outbreak

Many of the initial cases of the 2019-nCoV outbreak were linked to the Huanan Seafood Market (also known as Wuhan South China Seafood City and South China Seafood Wholesale Market). The market has been closed as of January 1, 2020, when it was shut down for cleaning and disinfection. While it is believed that the virus originated from an animal, the widespread outbreak is due to human-to-human transmission.

As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with 2019-nCov can cause mild symptoms including cough and fever. It can also be more severe for some people and lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.

A number of countries and territories have begun screening travellers arriving from China. Travellers returning to Canada from areas affected by the 2019-nCoV outbreak, particularly from Hubei Province, should be attentive to messages and instructions being provided at Canadian airports. They will be asked about their travel history and may be asked further questions about their health.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is actively monitoring the situation and working with the WHO and other international partners to gather additional information. The situation is evolving rapidly. Please verify travel health recommendations regularly as they may change over the course of your travel as new information becomes available.

About coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Some coronaviruses can cause no or mild illness, like the common cold, but other coronaviruses can cause severe illness, like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.

Recommendations for travellers

If you travel to China, take precautions against respiratory and other illnesses while travelling, and seek medical attention if you become sick.

During your trip:

  • Avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas.
  • Avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid contact with animals (alive or dead), live animal markets, and animal products such as raw or undercooked meat.
  • Be aware of the local situation and follow local public health advice. In some areas, access to health care may be affected.

Travellers are reminded to follow usual health precautions:

Wash your hands: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It’s a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.

Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
  • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.

Monitor your health:

If you become sick when you are travelling, avoid contact with others except to see a health care professional.

If you feel sick during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.

Travellers returning from mainland China (excluding Hubei Province)

For 14 days after the day you left mainland China, the Public Health Agency of Canada asks that you:

  • monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing; and,
  • avoid crowded public spaces and places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.

If you start having symptoms:

  • isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible
  • immediately call a health care professional or local public health authority
    • describe your symptoms and travel history

Source : Government of Canada

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Protect Yourself While Travelling

Electronic devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, are extremely popular targets for both physical and data theft.  These devices offer a centralized source of information, both personal and professional, about you and the organization for which you work or represent.

If you are travelling for work or pleasure and plan on using electronic gadgets, the following tips will help you minimize the risk of cyber theft:

Before you go:

  • Book your trip on a secure and reputable website. Many sites offer low prices, but some deals may be too good to be true. Before you finalize your payment, make sure it is a site you trust, and look for the “https” at the beginning of the URL in the address bar.
  • Protect all your devices with strong passwords or passcodes.  Do not use the same code on more than one device. Learn how to create a strong password.
  • To avoid losing valuable information, backup all important files and store them in a separate location.
  • Update any software and security patches required on your devices.
  • Do some research on the laws and regulations of the country you plan to visit, as you are subject to the laws governing intellectual property, digital information, censorship, and encrypted data in that country. For example, e-books that are legal in some countries may be unlawful in others.

While abroad:

  • Be sure that any device with an operating system and software is fully up-to-date with all recommended security software.
  • When not in use, turn off your devices. Don’t allow them to be in “sleep” mode when they are not in active use.
  • Be sure to password or passcode protect the device. Do not use the same passwords/passcodes that you use on your work and personal devices. The password/passcode should be strong. Learn how to create a strong password.
  • Minimize the data contained on your device. Only include information that you will need for your travel.
  • While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Laws and policies regarding online security and privacy may be different than in Canada. For example, sensitive business information on your devices may be subject to search at border crossings.
  • Be aware that Wi-Fi hotspots are common targets for identity thieves. These networks may be unsecure and accessible to anyone. Remember that unless you are using a secure Web page, you should never send or receive private information when using public Wi-Fi. The RCMP recommends that you avoid conducting financial or corporate transactions on these networks.
  • When available, use a hard-wired connection rather than public Wi-Fi. It is typically more secure than any free Wi-Fi network.
  • Using a weak password while on a free Wi-Fi network can make your device more susceptible to cyber theft.  As recommended above, strengthen your password by including a variety of symbols, letters and numbers. 
  • If you plan on using Wi-Fi provided by your hotel, ask what security measures are taken to protect the guests’ information.
  • Be aware that free Internet access points are sometimes established for malicious or deceitful purposes. These Internet access points are purposely named to imitate trusted access points. For example, a hotel may have established an access point called: “HotelABC Internet”. A malicious individual may set up a misleading/deceptive access point in the vicinity of that hotel called: “SecureHotelABC Internet”. This access point may even have a higher signal strength than the legitimate one. You should confirm with your hotel the name of any Internet connection that they provide. 
  • Be careful about broadcasting your travel plans. For example, avoid posting updates on your whereabouts on social media sites.  While managing privacy and access settings is a great way to control who sees your page, you can never be sure who could be reading about your whereabouts.
  • Avoid charging your phone or device by plugging it into a computer or other device that you do not control. Malicious software could be transferred when your device is connected.  Plug directly into a wall socket instead.
  • Turn your Bluetooth off when you’re not using it. Some devices allow for automatic connection, meaning that other Bluetooth networks can connect to your device without authorization.
  • Do not let your devices out of your sight.
  • Some devices have an option that will erase all data if the password is repeatedly entered incorrectly. Enable this option so that if you lose the device, that’s all you’ll lose.
  • Wait until you return home to post pictures of your vacation. Avoid giving indicators that you are away and that your home is vacant.

On your return home:

  • Reset all credentials for both remote and local accesses to your device and all accounts, including personal accounts (even if not accessed while abroad) that have similar usernames and/or passwords.  These may include banking, social networking and webmail accounts.

To learn more about destination safety, security, local laws and information for Canadian offices, visit http://travel.gc.ca or download the Government of Canada’s Travel Smart Mobile Web App: http://travel.gc.ca/mobile

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Countries with Yellow Fever Virus Transmission – Date Of Last Outbreak

Africa Yr of last outbreak # of Cases
Angola 1988/2016 37 / 861
Benin 2004 31
Burkina Faso 2011 1024
Burundi 1995 260
Cameroon 11/12/13/14 29 & 31 &15& 3
Central African Republic 2011/2013 7 & 4
Chad 11/12/13/2016 122 /48 / 5 /?
Congo 2011/2012/2013 188 & 1 & 1
Cote d”Ivoire 11/12/13/14 10 & 4 & 6 & 21
Democratic Republic of Congo 11/12/13/14/2016 195 / 1/& 9 / 3 / 9
Equatorial Guinea 2008 10
Ethiopia 2013 223
Gabon 2006 57
Gambia 2012 1
Ghana 11/12/13/2016 30 & 3 & 7 & 4
Guinea 2010/2013/2014 2 & 2 & 2
Guinea Bissau 1999 4
Kenya 1995 11
Liberia 2012/2014 17 & 1
Mali 2010/2014 3 & 1
Mauritania 2003 10
Niger 2011 20
Nigeria 2011 387
Rwanda 0
Senegal 2011/2012/2013 7 & 1 & 2
Sierre Leone 2011/2012/2013 361 & 94 & 3
South Sudan 2011 128
Sudan 2012/2013 849/148
Togo 2012 12
Uganda 2011/2012/2016 66 & 32 & 7
 
South America Yr of last outbreak # of Cases
Argentina 2008 8
Bolivia 12/11/2013 2 & 3 & 1
Brazil 10/13/14/15/2016 2 /3/ 1/ 5/?
Colombia 2009/2013/2016 5 / 1 / ?
Ecuador 2012 1
French Guiana 0
Guyana 0
Panama 0
Paraguay 2008 28
Peru 11/12/13/14/15/16 13 /9/ 21/ 15 /17/ 14
Suriname 0
Trinidad & Tobago 0
Venezuela 2005 12
Other Countries (*Imported Cases)
Canada 2012/2014 3 & 5
China 2016 11
DR of C 2016 59
Georgia 2004 1
Haiti 2011 6
Kenya 2016 2
Namibia 2008 3
Spain 2009 1
 Source:
http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidenceyfever.html
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Yellow Fever Requirements in Brazil

“Temporary Requirement” by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (from the 1st half of July 2016) for travellers coming from or intended to arrive from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. The measure is a
recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee, because of urban yellow fever outbreaks ongoing in both countries since December last year [2015].

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traveling china vaccination

Traveling to China, What You Need to Know

According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism is increasing in China and the country is set to become the world’s largest tourist destination by the year 2020. The Chinese government is opening more attractions and regions in the country to foreign tourists. Even though tourism in the country is opening up it can still be challenge to travel in the country due to language barriers and travel restrictions. Today most travelers opt for guided tours.

What Vaccinations will I Need to Travel to China?

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends travelers get vaccinated for the following diseases before traveling to China:

Hepatitis A – this disease is spread through contaminated food, water, or contact with an infected person. This vaccine is especially recommended if you plan to sample some of the many street food offerings during your travels.

Hepatitis B – is a serious liver disease that can be spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, sexual intercourse, and the use of an infected piercing tool or needle.

Rabies – Travelers to China should be vaccinated against rabies as the country has one of the highest numbers of reported cases of rabies in the world. Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal.

Japanese Encephalitis – This disease is prevalent in most Asian countries. Vaccination is recommended for travelers who plan to spend time in the southern parts of China where irrigation is still done through flooding or travelers who plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Polio – China has not had a reported case of polio since 1994 but the country borders on Pakistan and Afghanistan where the polio virus is still epidemic.

Are there Other Infections I should Know About?

Travelers should be aware mosquitoes carrying the Malaria virus have been found in the Yunnan Province near the China and Myanmar border. The risk is low to most travelers.

Avian Influenza has been reported in humans since 2013 in China. Most cases of the avian influenza have occurred in the southern and eastern parts of China including Taiwan and Hong Kong. Two travelers from Canada were reported to have contracted the virus after a trip to China in 2015.

How Safe is China

Travel is relatively safe in China. The risk of violent crime is very low in China as is the chance of being robbed or raped. Travelers should be aware pick pocketing is very common in tourist destinations and at transit stations.

Train stations and subways have bag scanners and police at the gates to scan bags for sharp objects and check the content of water bottles. For the most part, officials are checking for domestic terrorism threats.

Domestic terrorism is a concern in the westernmost part of China in the Xinjiang Uyghur region where political and religious unrest has led to violence in recent years.

The biggest threat to travelers in China is the traffic. Cars have the right of way in China, exercise caution when crossing streets. Ask for a business card from your hotel in both Chinese and English to help you get back to the hotel if you become lost.

A travel specialist at Markham Travel Health can help answer all of your questions about your trip to China.

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yellow fever disease

The Problem of Yellow Fever Vaccine Supply and Demand in Angola and Beyond

Yellow fever, caused by yellow fever virus, is a mosquito-borne flavivirus disease; it is found in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, where approximately 1 billion people in 46 countries are at risk for it. A live attenuated vaccine (strain 17D) was developed by Max Theiler and colleagues in the 1930s — work that earned Theiler a Nobel Prize. An excellent vaccine, it has been in use since 1937; more than 650 million doses have been distributed in the past 75 years, and 1 dose probably confers lifelong protective immunity. The disease, however, has not been conquered: there are still an estimated 180,000 cases and 78,000 resulting deaths every year.

In the past 6 months, we’ve seen a major resurgence of yellow fever disease that has proved difficult to control in multiple African countries. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on May 19 that it had convened an emergency committee under the International Health Regulations to review the situation. That committee decided that the current epidemic is a “serious public health concern” but does not, unlike the current Zika virus epidemic, constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

How did this situation arise? In December 2015, a yellow fever outbreak was identified in Angola. That outbreak continues, despite distribution of nearly 12 million doses of vaccine in the country, and as of May 20, 2016, a total of 2420 suspected cases, including 298 deaths, had been reported. Alarmingly, the cases are not limited to Angola: the virus has spread, by way of infected travelers from Angola, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, and China, further demonstrating the difficulty of controlling infectious diseases in this era of unprecedented mobility.

In addition, cases in Angola and the DRC are found in cities, which suggests that transmission may be occurring through an “urban yellow fever” cycle, in which the virus is transmitted between humans by means of the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, rather than the traditional “jungle yellow fever” cycle of monkey–mosquito–monkey transmission in which humans are incidental hosts. Further complicating the situation, there appears to be a separate outbreak in Uganda concurrent swith the Angola-based outbreak.

The identification in China of 11 travelers who returned from Angola with yellow fever infection is also particularly troubling, since yellow fever has never been found in Asia even though laboratory studies have demonstrated that Asian A. aegypti mosquitoes are vector-competent. The reason for the absence of yellow fever from Asia is unknown and has been a subject of much speculation.3 Although it is very worrisome that people are returning from Angola with yellow fever, it is somewhat reassuring that China manufactures 17D vaccine for the domestic market and would probably be able to control an outbreak. The importations, however, indicate that there are weaknesses in the current International Health Regulations, which require persons entering a region with potential for yellow fever outbreaks to provide evidence of immunization.

Given that we have a highly effective yellow fever vaccine that confers lifelong immunity with one dose, why is yellow fever still a problem? Much of the answer comes down to vaccine supply and demand.

The 17D vaccine is a “legacy” vaccine produced in embryonated chicken eggs using technology that has changed little since the 1940s, when the seed-lot system was introduced. Three 17D substrains (17D-204, 17DD, and 17D-213) are used as vaccines. They have minor differences in genome sequences, but all have proved to be excellent vaccines. Currently, there are only six manufacturers of yellow fever vaccine worldwide, and they collectively produce approximately 50 million to 100 million doses each year; four (Institut Pasteur, Senegal; Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz, Brazil; Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides, Russia; and Sanofi Pasteur, France) are “prequalified” by the WHO to distribute vaccine internationally and two (Sanofi Pasteur, United States; and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, China) make vaccine for domestic markets. Thus, the number of producers and the manufacturing process limit the amount of vaccine available.

Furthermore, there is a requirement for a minimum amount of virus in a dose (103.0 IU) but no maximum amount per dose, and some manufacturers’ lots contain 106.5 IU per dose (over 1000 times the minimum). Although all vaccines have proved efficacious overall, the potency of the vaccines produced by the six manufacturers varies. Currently, approximately 6 million doses are kept in reserve for emergencies. That quantity is adequate for most years, but occasionally — now, for instance, or during the 2008 epidemic in South America — these reserves are insufficient to meet the demand from large outbreaks, particularly when they affect areas where yellow fever is not seen very often, as in Angola, which had gone decades without an urban outbreak.

Clearly, there is a need to increase the vaccine supply, but a number of approaches could improve the situation in the future. First, we can increase the reserve stockpile kept for emergencies. Second, regulators and the WHO could set a maximum for the amount of vaccine in a dose. Studies have shown that 3000 IU (1/50 of the quantity in a dose of at least one current vaccine)4 or less is sufficient to stimulate protective immunity. Consequently, vaccine bulk could be diluted in manufacturing freeze-dried vaccine, but studies would be needed to investigate the stability of diluted versus undiluted vaccine and the duration of protective immunity.

Relatedly, a dose-sparing approach has been suggested, in which a fraction of the current dose could be given to vaccinees once a vaccine vial had been opened. This approach would have to be evaluated carefully to ensure that vaccinees received the appropriate quantity of diluted vaccine. In addition, the vaccine is recommended for persons 9 months of age or older (6 months or older in epidemic situations), and studies would be needed to determine whether dose-sparing vaccination was equivalent in children and adults.

Similarly, some experts have suggested using intradermal immunization rather than the traditional intramuscular or subcutaneous route.5 Although that option seems promising, the limited studies that have been conducted included no comparison between intradermal and conventional subcutaneous immunization with the same dose of vaccine. Moreover, these studies have involved vaccine from only two of the six manufacturers.
A third approach is to shift manufacturing from embryonated chicken eggs to a continuous cell line. This possibility proved unsuccessful when it was investigated in the 1980s, but cell-culture technology has greatly improved in the past 30 years. Notably, Sanofi Pasteur manufactures its chimeric yellow fever 17D-dengue (Dengvaxia) and chimeric yellow fever 17D-Japanese encephalitis (Imojev) vaccines in monkey kidney Vero cells, which suggests that Vero cells could be used to manufacture 17D vaccine. Of course, the immunogenicity and safety profile of such a Vero-cell–derived vaccine would need to be compared with that of currently licensed egg-derived vaccines.

Finally, there have been no systematic studies investigating the genome sequences of wild-type yellow fever virus strains from outbreaks to elucidate the evolution of the virus and help model the potential for outbreaks. There are 40 genomic sequences of wild-type yellow fever virus isolates in GenBank, of which 12 are from Brazil and 14 from Senegal, though the virus is currently found in 44 other countries. We still have much to learn about wild-type yellow fever virus.

In the short term, there will be difficulties in ensuring that sufficient vaccine is available to fight this major public health problem, but we have the opportunity to avoid vaccine shortfalls in the future. Toward that end, the WHO periodically reviews “Recommendations to Assure the Quality, Safety and Efficacy of Live Attenuated Yellow Fever Vaccines.” Now may be the time to revisit these requirements, which were last reviewed in 2010.

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tdap vaccine

Want to Avoid Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis? Get the TDaP Vaccines

Many of us may have had a series of vaccinations as youngsters, but do you really know what they offered protection against? One of the series of vaccinations that you may likely have had is called TDaP. The term TDaP stands for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (aka whooping cough) and it is a combo vaccination that will help protect against the three aforementioned potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases.

People who did get this vaccine likely had it initially between the ages of 11 and 12. If you have not had the vaccine, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible. It should be noted that infants are more at risk of life threatening complications caused by whooping cough. Pregnant mothers can get a single dose for each pregnancy to protect the newborn child against the disease.

travel vaccinationThe first two of these diseases, diphtheria and pertussis, can be spread from one individual to another via bodily secretions like cough or sneezing. The third of these, tetanus, infects a person via scratches and other wounds on the body. While due to vaccines, tetanus has become more of a rarity, it unfortunately is still commonplace in some places around the world.

Before vaccinations became more widely used, there were around 200,000 annual cases of both diphtheria and pertussis in the United States. During this time, there were also hundreds of tetanus occurrences on a yearly basis. Last year, there were 4 cases of tetanus, 3 cases of diphtheria and 3, 510 cases of pertussis or whooping cough. These are statistics that area readily available via the World Health Organization website.

These diseases can cause a number of issues such as severe coughing spells with pertussis and with diphtheria, you may experience trouble breathing, sleeping or even incontinence at times. Here at Markham Travel Health, we take your wellness very seriously and provide a variety of vaccinations in Greater Toronto Area, including TDaP. Keep in mind that there are many vaccines that require the patient to get boosters either every 5 or every ten years and TDaP is one of them. People particularly at risk for exposure to these diseases include those in healthcare and people who travel.

TDaP protects you against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, but there is another vaccine called TD which will only offer you protection against tetanus and diphtheria. If you were to get the TD vaccine, you would still need the booster shot every 5-10 years. It remains though a preventative measure if you run the risk of exposure to the disease called tetanus.

We encourage you to visit our clinic to find out more about how you can take control of your health and how we can aid you in achieving a healthier life! You can also find a wealth of tips and news that is health related on our website. If you have plans to go overseas, there are required and recommended vaccines that will aid you in having a healthier and safer trip no matter where your destination. Not sure what vaccines you might need before going abroad? Visit us and we will help you get the necessary immunizations bases upon the location to which you are travelling.

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