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In the News

Unity Health Toronto in the news:

May 19

Monkeypox sign of disease ‘new normal’?
Toronto Sun
Comments by Dr. Kamran Khan
Monkeypox cases are being reported from around the world. The first case in Europe in early May was in the U.K. — someone who had visited Nigeria — and after that, Reuters said Thursday, Portugal reported 14 cases and Spain has at least 20.

Help us fix family doctor shortage ‘crisis,’ GPs tell Ontario election candidates
Etobicoke Guardian
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) recently launched its campaign, “Life Without A Doctor,” to put what it says is the province’s lack of equitable access to a family doctor front and centre in the provincial election.

More Post-COVID rehab programs needed in Ontario
Cambridge Today
Comments by Dr. Ashley Verduyn
The number of people experiencing post-COVID, also known as long COVID, symptoms is rising, with over 200 symptoms reported and no concrete testing criteria in place.

May 18

COVID infections among Canadian adults tripled during Omicron wave compared to previous waves: study
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Patrick Brown
The number of Canadian adults infected with COVID-19 tripled during the fifth wave of the pandemic compared with the total number of adults infected in the previous four waves, according to a new study led by Toronto researchers.

30 % des Canadiens adultes ont été infectés pendant la cinquième vague, selon une étude
Radio‑Canada ICI Toronto
Commentaires du Dr Patrick Brown
Près de neuf millions de Canadiens adultes ont été infectés par la COVID-19 durant la cinquième vague de la pandémie, stimulée par le variant Omicron, selon la plus récente étude menée par des chercheurs de Toronto.

Toronto city council to commemorate Canada’s first two Black doctors
CityNews
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
Toronto City Council recently voted to celebrate Canada’s first two Black doctors with a pair of plaques close to where they lived, learned and practiced.

May 17

Revolutionize healthcare by delivering AI solutions developed at St. Michael’s to hospitals around the world
Hospital News
Comments by Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
Unity Health Toronto is collaborating with Signal 1, a company led by Canadian entrepreneur Tomi Poutanen, to improve patient outcomes and transform healthcare using artificial intelligence (AI).

May 16

About 11 per cent of admitted COVID patients return to hospital or die within 30 days: study
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Amol Verma
A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

May 15

Saved by transplants, terrified of navigating COVID: Kidney recipients still face grave risks at this stage of the pandemic
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Darren Yuen, Galo Meliton and Sharon Lee
At the end of 2019, just weeks before Canada announced its first case of COVID-19, Nancy Tran got what she calls her second chance at life.

May 12

Unknown hepatitis in kids is ‘exceedingly rare’
CTV News
Interview with Dr. Tali Bogler
St. Michael’s Hospital family physician Dr. Tali Bogler says the unknown type of hepatitis is ‘most likely not a vaccine-related injury.’

Symptoms linger two years for some; inflammatory protein patterns may provide long COVID clues
Reuters
Comments by Korryn Bodner
Half of the COVID-19 patients discharged from a Chinese hospital in early 2020 still have at least one symptom two years later, a new study shows.

Ontario political parties promise help on opioid crisis as election looms
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Paolo Dinola doesn’t really care who wins the provincial election so long as the next government tries to save others from the fate of his son, who became another statistic last year in Ontario’s surging opioid crisis.

Why is healthcare key for you in this election?
CBC Radio – Ontario Morning
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
Nurses are leaving their jobs. Patients are without family doctors. Dr. Nav Persaud, Canada Research Chair in Health Justice, breaks down for us what the political parties are promising.

May 11

Health care in Canada
The Globe and Mail Events
Interview with Dr. Danyaal Raza
How might it drive economic growth?

Should Canadian parents be worried about hepatitis in kids?
Today’s Parent
Comments by Dr. Anne Wormsbecker
The headlines are scary. Kids around the world are getting hepatitis and no one knows why. At least 20 countries have reported unusual cases of acute hepatitis in children in recent months, prompting health agencies to investigate whether these cases are connected.

Has the pandemic made mental health an election issue?
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Thomas Ungar
The pandemic put even more pressure on an already over-taxed mental-health system in Ontario. What are each party’s plans to meet this surging demand? Should there be universal, publicly-funded talk therapy in the province? And is mental health a major ballot box issue in 2022?

Science table replacement
CBC Radio – Windsor Morning
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Doctor Fahad Razak, the new scientific director of the science table, speaks with CBC Windsor Morning host Peter Duck.

May 10

Postpartum depression in fathers ‘very real,’ researchers say
Global News
Comments by Dr. Cindy Lee Dennis
From being present in the delivery room to homeschooling and figuring out childcare options, researchers say fathers are becoming more active in their children’s care in recent years.

May 9

‘Be soft, but honest’: Dr. Peter Jüni reflects as he leaves Ontario COVID-19 science table post
CBC News
Interview with Dr. Peter Jüni
When Dr. Peter Jüni goes out in public, he gets recognized, even when he’s got his mask on. A woman came up to him in a Home Depot recently because she spotted his hair.

May 6

This 96-year-old has been singing to hospital patients for 30 years
CBC News
Profile of George Linton; Comments by Susan Bertoldi
If you’ve seen a 96-year-old man lugging a guitar or belting out a tune in Toronto hospitals, it was probably George Linton.

Forget brunch and flowers: ‘Touched out’ moms just want to be left alone Mother’s Day
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis
For many moms, Mother’s Day is a welcome chance to indulge in a lavish brunch, receive a special gift or spend meaningful time with their families. But many new moms are discovering a much different impulse once their newborn arrives: the desire to be left alone.

Asking For A Friend: Red wine is good for you, right?
Healthing
Comments by Dr. Chi Ming Chow
Whether you’re a daily sipper or reserve that glass or two of wine for noteworthy occasions, it can be tempting to think that alcohol isn’t so bad for your health. You might feel more relaxed and better able to connect socially with your dinner companions.

May 5

Where the parties stand: On the opioid crisis
TVO
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Opioids have killed almost 10,000 people in Ontario over the past five years, according to data from Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner. Nearly 3,000 people died of confirmed or probable opioid-related causes in 2021 alone — a figure that equates to roughly eight people per day — the highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses ever recorded in the province.

Nearly 15 million people died in COVID-19 pandemic: WHO
CBC News – The National
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
The World Health Organization estimates almost 15 million people around the world have died as a result of COVID-19 or the pandemic’s burden on health-care systems over the past two years.

Death toll during pandemic far exceeds totals reported by countries, WHO says
New York Times
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
In Mexico, the excess death toll during the first two years of the pandemic was twice as high as the government’s official tally of Covid deaths. In Egypt, excess deaths were roughly 12 times as great as the official Covid toll. In Pakistan, the figure was eight times as high.

May 2

Vegetarian and meat-eating children have similar growth and nutrition but not weight, study finds
CNN
Comments by Dr. Jonathon Maguire
If you’re wondering how your child might fare on a vegetarian diet, a new study offers some factors to consider.

Opioid related-deaths rising
CBC Radio – Ontario Morning
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes (starts at 2:32)
New data shows opioid-related deaths have once again jumped in Ontario — more than 2,800 people died in 2021. We spoke about it with drug policy researcher Tara Gomes.

Bridging the gaps in healthcare
Desi News
Profile of Dr. Nav Persaud
A superhero’s cape would not be out of place for a champion of patient safety, social justice and health equity. As such, Canada Research Chair in Health Justice is a fitting mantle for Dr Nav Persaud, who has made a name for himself for tirelessly advocating for health equity.

April 29

COVID-19 prevention drug Evusheld to arrive in Ontario next week
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Darren Yuen
The first shipments of the COVID-19 prevention drug Evusheld are expected to arrive in Ontario the first week of May, with doses initially being administered to patients at highest risk of getting severely sick and dying of the virus.

Toronto physician named new scientific director of provincial COVID-19 advisory group
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Ontario’s expert COVID-19 advisory group has named a Toronto physician as its new scientific director.

April 27

They test drugs so users know what they’re really taking
CBC Toronto
Feature on St. Michael’s Drug Checking Service
Community health workers involved in this pilot program say finding out what’s in the drug supply is more important than ever. But even though their system just went digital, funding for the project is set to expire later this year.

April 26

From universal pharmacare to affordable housing, experts break down provincial NDP’s election platform
CBC Radio – Metro Morning
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud (starts at 6:10)
Dr. Persaud joined Metro Morning to share his thoughts on the provincial NDP’s election platform.

April 25

TD’s AI chief quits to start health care firm, backed by bank and Inovia Capital
The Globe and Mail
Unity Health’s collaboration with Signal 1 profiled; comments by Dr. Tim Rutledge
Four years ago, Tomi Poutanen sold his artificial intelligence startup Layer 6 to Toronto-Dominion Bank for more than US$100-million and became TD’s chief AI officer. TD used Layer 6′s AI engine for dozens of applications, such as predicting when customers might buy homes and detecting fraudulent insurance claims.

April 21

Endometriosis, and the problem of women’s pain being overlooked or misdiagnosed
CBC Radio – The Current
Interview with Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe
Endometriosis can cause chronic and debilitating pain for women — but it can take years to diagnose and is often missed by doctors.

Why body mass index isn’t the best measure of health
Reader’s Digest Canada
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Although the metric can predict health risk for some, BMI is nearly useless for many people.

A racial justice agenda for medicare
Policy Options
Op-ed by Dr. Danyaal Raza, Dr. Ritika Goel and Dr. Suzanne Shoush
Medicare is often referred to as the highest beacon of Canadian values, a great equalizer among people of all walks of life. While for many this is the story of “Canada the Good,” and a history linked to the narrative of Canada, for others the truth is more complex.

Canadians can make significant health gains by reducing traffic-related air pollution, report says
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Samantha Green
Canadians stand to make significant gains to their health and well-being by reducing the number of fossil fuel-burning cars and trucks on roadways and limiting exposure to traffic-related air pollution, a broad review of scientific literature on the subject has found.

April 20

Province will invest more than $1B to redevelop St. Joseph’s Health Centre
Etobicoke Guardian
Comments by Dr. Tim Rutledge
The Ontario government will invest more than $1 billion to redevelop and expand Unity Health Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

April 19

Elliott announces over $1B in funding for expansion of Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre
Global News
Ontario Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott announced Tuesday the province would invest more than $1 billion on the expansion of Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre. She said the funding would result in more than 100 new beds, new spaces for operating rooms and critical care and an expanded emergency department.

Product label changes do not prevent accidental acetaminophen overdoses: Study
The Print
Comments by Dr. Tony Antoniou
Changes to acetaminophen product labels did not decrease rates of hospitalization for accidental acetaminophen overdoses, according to a new study.

April 18

Where to find Paxlovid in Toronto and the GTA
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
If you test positive, have symptoms of COVID-19 and are high-risk, you could benefit from Paxlovid, an antiviral medication that’s now available, with a prescription, at dozens of pharmacies across the GTA.

April 17

How to get Paxlovid in Ontario for COVID-19 treatment: Your questions answered
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
More people are now eligible to receive antiviral treatments for COVID-19—treatments that may be able to reduce severe symptoms and prevent hospitalization.

April 14

Canada has approved a COVID-19 prevention drug. Here’s who qualifies for Evusheld
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Darren Yuen
Health Canada has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 prevention drug Evusheld for individuals with weaker immune systems, offering another layer of protection for those at high risk of getting severely ill with the virus.

Analyzing science table’s new COVID modelling
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Discussion of the new COVID-19 modelling and what it means for Ontario.

Saskatchewan Has the Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada. Doctors Say It’s Harming the Health of Workers.
Press Progress
Comments by Dr. Danyaal Raza
As groups representing wealthy business interests lobby Saskatchewan’s government to prevent the lowest minimum wage in Canada from increasing, health experts say low wages are causing harm for low-wage workers.

April 12

The role of Paxlovid in tackling COVID-19’s sixth wave
CBC Radio – The Current
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran (starts at 1:00:34)
Amid a sixth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, could increased access to the antiviral pill Paxlovid help patients?

Ontario government launching independent review into WSIB process for toxic workplaces
Peterborough Examiner
MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions is mentioned
The Ontario government says it’s launching a new independent review of the system that helps people who get sick following exposure to workplace toxins.

April 11

Portable MRI machine could revolutionize health care, Ontario doctors say
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Tim Dowdell, Dr. Aditya Bharatha and Dr. Andrew Baker
A portable MRI machine that brings imaging to a patient’s bedside has the potential to revolutionize health care both in major hospitals and in remote areas of the country, doctors say.

How accurate is your rapid test now? Experts weigh in as Omicron fuels 6th wave
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Medical experts say Canadians should keep a supply of rapid antigen tests handy as we head into a summer with almost no public health restrictions in much of the country. But experts add a negative result doesn’t necessarily mean someone’s in the clear.

The Landlord and Tenant Board must resume in-person hearings
Toronto Star
Op-Ed written by Dr. Nav Persaud and Dr. Stephen Hwang
As malls and coffee shops reopened after a long COVID winter, the doors have remained locked on an institution that keeps people housed: Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board.

April 9

Family’s scramble to find COVID drug Paxlovid for their ailing dad highlights challenges with access
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
When Derek McGivern’s dad tested positive for COVID-19, he knew the clock was ticking. Due to multiple medical issues, his 70-something father was at risk, and McGivern knew the antiviral pill Paxlovid — which must be taken within five days of the first symptoms — could help keep him out of the hospital.

April 8

Precarious work, unfair wage, not enough sick days: What experts say is exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Danyaal Raza
Precarious employment, unfair wages and too few paid sick days are exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

April 7

“We should have waited to lift mask mandates”: A Q&A with Dr. Peter Jüni, head of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table, about the recent surge of infections
Toronto Life
Interview with Dr. Peter Jüni
Last month, the head of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table said it was too early to lift mask mandates. A few weeks, and more than 100,000 new daily infections later, Dr. Peter Jüni says it’s still not too late to make a difference.

April 6

How Omicron is changing the way rapid tests should be used
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Kevin Schwartz
Science moves quickly in the arms race against the ever-evolving COVID-19 virus. Now, a growing number of medical experts and health authorities say the way at-home COVID tests are used needs to be adjusted to better detect Omicron and its subvariant.

Departing Ontario COVID-19 adviser reflects on life away from the public eye
Global News
Interview with Dr. Peter Jüni
The outgoing director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says he is looking forward to a quiet life when he moves to England sometime in April.

Federal budget preview
CBC News – Canada Tonight
Interview with Dr. Danyaal Raza (segment starts at 26:04)
What needs to be done to address the issues the pandemic has exposed in our health care system?

Why pharmacare plans keep stalling in Canada — even as research suggests billions in savings
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
While the federal Liberals have pledged to make progress toward a national pharmacare program through a recent deal with the NDP, health care advocates warn those efforts are moving too slowly — putting people’s health at risk and taking a financial toll on Canada’s hospital system.

April 5

Choir group Voices Rock Medicine are health-care workers looking to inspire
Canada’s Got Talent
Performance by physicians including Drs. Sarah Kim, Carolyn Snider, Daphne Williams and Christine Song
Voices Rock Medicine is a choir of diverse women physicians who find joy through singing. No experience required!
Do you really need a fourth COVID-19 shot? Here’s what the federal advisory committee says
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
Canada should get ready to rapidly deploy fourth doses of COVID vaccine in the coming weeks as protection against the virus continues to wane, particularly for those 80 and older, the national body responsible for vaccination advice said Tuesday.

April 4

What to make of mixed messages on masking?
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Dr. Razak and Samantha Yammine break down some of the conflicting messages Ontario residents are seeing around masking.
Why do some people seem unable to catch COVID? Scientists are looking for answers.
USA Today
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
One of the lingering mysteries of the COVID-19 pandemic is why some people get infected without getting sick and others don’t get infected at all, despite exposure.

April 3

It’s time for a new COVID-19 vaccination strategy in Ontario, experts urge
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Ontario is entering a sixth wave of COVID-19 with few remaining public health measures and experts say now is the time for a renewed vaccination strategy aimed at boosting third-dose uptake, shots for kids and preparing for wider fourth doses.

April 1

Academic medicine leadership lessons
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Podcast
Interview with Dr. Gary Bloch
What separates a good leader from a great one? In-depth interviews with some of family medicine’s most influential leaders provide insight into pivotal experiences that boosted leadership skills and provided unprecedented opportunities for personal growth.

March 31

Considerations for executing COVID-19 vaccination clinics
Healio
Interview with Dr. Andrew Pinto
In this video, Andrew Pinto, MD, CCFP, FRCPC, MSc, discusses best practices for planning and implementing successful COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Canada and the United States.

Liberal-NDP deal promises nothing more than a pharmacare pantomime
The Hill Times
OpEd by Dr. Nav Persaud
It is not clear what is new in this announcement. Pharmacare remains just beyond the next election horizon.

Hospitals are experiencing a global blood tube shortage
Hospital News
OpEd written by Dr. Dan Beriault
Canadians have become much more aware of health care supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. In spring 2020, personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves were scarce due to skyrocketing demand. While those have become steadily more plentiful, supply chain issues still plague our health care system.

The COVID-19 surgery crisis is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine surgery delivery in Canada
Hospital News
OpEd co-written by Dr. David Gomez
Access to elective surgery has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first three months alone were responsible for over 28 million elective surgeries being delayed or postponed worldwide.

How Toronto’s PocketHealth learned to sell technology to cash-strapped Canadian hospitals
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dawn Marie-King
Canada’s publicly funded health care system is a notoriously frustrating market for domestic medical technology vendors to crack. Many complain they can’t land a sale in their own backyard because of stingy, risk-averse buyers, despite success abroad. It’s a problem that has surfaced in several government reports and that no one seems able to solve.

As some countries roll out fourth doses of COVID vaccine, Canada is struggling to get citizens to take a third
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
The days of the two-shot COVID vaccine regime appear all but over, with countries such as Israel and now the United States opening up widespread access to not just a third shot to bolster waning protection against infection, but a fourth.

March 29

Perinatal mental health with two pregnant social workers
We Go There Podcast
Interview with Kayla Deverson and Melissa Luongo
One in 7 mothers suffer from postpartum depression, and yet they often feel alone or unsure of how to get support.

March 28

Tired of waiting for a COVID vaccine for their toddlers, these parents brought them to a clinical trial in Etobicoke
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Anne Wormsbecker
Lauren Socha knows there is a chance her toddler got the placebo instead of the COVID vaccine, but that day in January still felt like a “little bit of hope.”

‘My mom is not the only person COVID has killed this week.’ Who is still dying from the virus in Ontario?
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Sharmistha Mishra
Muriel Thompson did everything she could to avoid getting sick with COVID-19. The 79-year-old from Belleville was undergoing treatment for lymphoma and knew the pandemic put her at risk. She was triple-vaxxed, always wore a mask on her rare trips out of the house and kept within her small family bubble.

March 24

‘Time for change’: Toronto launching service to respond to mental health crisis calls
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
When a mental health crisis call comes in to 911 in certain parts of Toronto next month, a team typically consisting of two people such as a harm-reduction worker and a nurse, or an Indigenous elder and a de-escalation expert – not police – will be the first to respond.

Take this cash and call me in the morning
Boston Globe
Comments by Dr. Gary Bloch
Nine years ago, Dr. Gordon Schiff, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, offered a patient a medicine that his textbooks had never mentioned: $30 in cash.

March 23

Trying to solve a Covid mystery: Africa’s low death rates
New York Times
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
There are no Covid fears here. The district’s Covid-19 response center has registered just 11 cases since the start of the pandemic, and no deaths. At the regional hospital, the wards are packed — with malaria patients.

March 22

Three drug overdose calls within an hour prompt public safety advisory
CBC News Toronto
Comments by Karen McDonald (segment starts at 4:47)
Police in Peel Region are issuing a warning after three fentanyl overdoses within an hour of each other on Monday night.

March 20

COVID-19 pandemic still hitting low income areas hardest, Ontario’s science table says
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Danyaal Raza
Low income areas in Ontario have borne the brunt of COVID-19 in every single wave of the pandemic, the latest data from the province shows.

March 17

Coronavirus: An old new friend
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Dan Werb
When the world was hit with a novel coronavirus two years ago, it was one of the handful of times this pathogen has been present. Or was it?

Educating doctors about the RDSP
Disability Alliance BC
Column by Dr. Gary Bloch (page 16)
Years of working with people who experience disability, most of whom live in poverty and without secure housing, have convinced me that I must address their social situations directly to improve their health.

March 16

Is Ontario ready to ditch masking?
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Peter Jüni
Last week, Ontario’s chief medical officer announced that mask mandates will be lifted by March 21. But not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. How do Ontarians navigate the new reality and get back to pre-pandemic sorts of interactions?

Are we prepared for the next pandemic?
CP24
Interview with Dr. Samantha Green
Drs. Adam Kassam, Ross Upshur and Samantha Green discuss lessons learned from the COVID pandemic and how prepared are we for the next one.

To end COVID-19, we have to admit that we’ve failed
TIME
OpEd by Dr. Dan Werb
In 1985, the first HIV vaccine trial was launched with great fanfare. The previous year, Margaret Heckler, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, confidently declared that an HIV vaccine would be created within two years. But almost four decades after the initial discovery of the HIV virus, there is still no viable HIV/AIDS vaccine.

March 15

How can hospitals learn to live with COVID-19?
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Muahmmad Mamdani
The pandemic’s toll on our health-care system is clear. Surgeons have performed 560,000 fewer procedures than usual. Nursing staff are facing burnout from working overtime to manage surges, and 77 per cent of those who have dealt directly with COVID-19 patients reported their mental health has worsened.

March 14

Endometriosis Awareness Month
CityNews
Comments by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Endometriosis affects 200 million people worldwide but many people say they’ve struggled to get diagnosed and treated for the painful disease.

March 11

Toronto harm reduction advocates call for more frontline worker supports, drug regulation
CJRU.ca
Comments by Hayley Thompson
Juno Zavitz, program coordinator of Breakaway Community Services’ grief, loss, and wellness initiative (GLoW) discusses additional support for harm reduction workers.

Coroner evaluating inquest request on cold-related homeless deaths in Toronto
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
Ontario’s chief coroner is investigating several cold-related deaths among Toronto’s homeless population and evaluating whether to hold an inquest on the issue.

March 10

Study finds high rates of postpartum depression and anxiety in Canadian fathers
U of T News
Comments by Cindy-Lee Dennis
Nearly 22 per cent of fathers experience high rates of both anxiety and depression at some point in the first year of their child’s life, according to a new study led by Cindy-Lee Dennis, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Women’s Health Research Chair at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Winter taking heavy toll on people who are homeless, from amputations to freezing to death
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
The smell of rotting flesh fills the Toronto shelter room where Pat Gallagher lives in the city’s north end. He unwraps bandages that cover his left foot. His toes look like lumps of black coal. The diagnosis: severe frostbite.

Time for a regular checkup? Here’s what doctors say you should ask about
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
The pandemic interrupted routines for health, work and family – including regular checkups. So if you haven’t been to see your family doctor since before March 2020, now may be the time.

March 9

Pandemic creates opportunity for change
Winnipeg Free Press
OpEd by Dr. David Gomez
Access to elective surgery has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first three months alone were responsible for more than 28 million elective surgeries being delayed or postponed worldwide.

March 8

‘This will have a massive impact’: Blood tube shortage could limit non-essential tests
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Dan Beriault
Health-care providers across Canada are being urged to avoid non-essential blood tests amid a global shortage of medically vital blood collection tubes.

March 7

New palliative care unit designed to improve patient, staff and family experiences
Hospital News
Comments by Maria Dyck and Dr. Jennifer Hopfner
St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Unity Health Toronto will be home to a new palliative care unit with cozy, cottage-inspired finishes, parts of which overlook Lake Ontario.

March 4

Opioid harm reduction in Toronto takes many forms at its best, according to advocates
CJRU.ca
Interview with Hayley Thompson
Juno Zavitz of Breakaway Community Services and Hayley Thompson of the Toronto Drug Checking Service speak to the urgency and importance of diversifying harm reduction strategies in the Toronto opioid crisis.

March 2

Is mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance the answer to increasing vaccine uptake in children?
Toronto Star
OpEd written by Dr. Sloane Freeman, Dr. Kevin Schwartz and Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and recommended for children aged 5 years and older, yet, nationwide, COVID-19 vaccine uptake has been low in children 5-11 years of age. To date, only 28 per cent have received two doses.

March 1

Epidemiologist reaction to removing vaccine passports
CBC Radio – Here and Now
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
A lot of businesses have decided to drop vaccine passports. But some businesses are still continuing to check vaccine status.

Opioid crisis: More access to take-home treatments didn’t raise risk of overdoses, study says
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
A new study tracking patients receiving treatment for opioid addiction in Ontario has found that a recommendation change in March 2020 which allowed for more take-home treatments during the pandemic resulted in less overdoses and in more patients staying in the program.

On the frontlines. We can do anything, we could be heroes
Leaside Life
Comments by Dr. Joao Rezende Neto and Orla Smith
In 2020, Leaside Life recognized a number of our residents who were on the frontlines battling, and keeping us safe from, Covid.

February 28

Shortage of lab supplies plagues many Canadian hospitals
Ottawa Citizen
OpEd co-written by Dr. Dan Beriault
Canadians have become much more aware of health-care supply-chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. In spring 2020, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves were scarce due to skyrocketing demand. While those have become steadily more plentiful, supply-chain issues still plague our health-care system.

February 26

This international student will help breast cancer patients get the bras they deserve
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Jory Simpson and Jennifer Schultz
For Jennifer Schultz, dealing with breast cancer didn’t stop when she got off the operating table. She relives the pain every time she puts on a bra that doesn’t fit properly or realizes she can’t afford the ones that can.

Food as medicine: Programs, doctors look to fill nutrition prescription
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. John Sivenpiper
Every week at her standing doctor’s appointment, Candace Blanchette is told the same thing: If she eats healthier, that if she loses weight, she’d feel better.

February 25

Biomarkers of radiologically isolated syndrome, MS prodrome clarified with MRI
Healio
Comments by Dr. Jiwon Oh
Advanced diagnostic tools aid in the distinction between radiologically isolated syndrome and MS prodrome, according to a presenter at the ACTRIMS Forum.

Open science, not for-profit discovery, is Canada’s best path to pandemic prevention
The Globe and Mail
OpEd by Dr. Dan Werb
When a cluster of unexplainable pneumonia cases emerged in Hong Kong and the nearby Chinese city of Guangzhou in November, 2002, the world stood rapt. From a few dozen cases, the epidemic grew to include hundreds; as the numbers mounted, so did the deaths. The new pathogen had all the hallmarks of being pandemic-ready: It could transmit itself efficiently across human populations, it killed more than 10 per cent of those that were infected and it was a virus the world had never seen before.

February 24

Advocates call for loosened visitor restrictions at N.B.’s long-term care homes
CBC New Brunswick
Comments by Dr. Ashley Verduyn
As the New Brunswick government loosens restrictions for the general public, some are calling on the government to do the same for residents living in the province’s long-term care homes.

Pedestrian-friendly cities have lower rates of diabetes and obesity
New Scientist
Comments by Dr. Gillian Booth
Diabetes and obesity rates can be reduced by transforming towns and cities into places where it is safe and convenient to walk, cycle or take public transport rather than drive.

February 23

Is it time to end mask mandates in Ont. schools?
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Mayor Patrick Brown, Dr. Fahad Razak and Dr. Barry Pakes discuss when is the right time to end mask mandates in Ontario schools.

Les sans-abris de Toronto deux fois plus susceptibles de contracter la COVID-19
Radio-Canada ICI Toronto
Commentaires du Dr Tara Kiran
Les personnes en situation d’itinérance à Toronto étaient deux fois plus susceptibles d’avoir un résultat de test positif à la COVID-19 pendant la première vague de la pandémie, selon une nouvelle étude de Unity Health Toronto. Le constat n’est pas une surprise pour plusieurs intervenants du milieu.

February 22

‘A heroic effort that went unrecognized’: Harm reduction workers facing their own burnout
Healthy Debate
Comments by Dr. Gillian Kolla
The “shadow epidemic” lurking in the COVID-19 background is leaving another group of front-line workers battered and bruised. And Ontario’s opioid crisis is expected to get worse over the next six months, according to the latest data.

February 19

You can gather with relatives on Family Day again. Here’s how to stay safe
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
With COVID-19 cases surging in December, Harry Maghera and his family had to scrap their Christmas dinner in Toronto. But this Family Day weekend, he’s headed to Brampton for a do-over.

February 16

There must be long-term studies of the negative masking impacts on some students
Toronto Star
OpEd written by Dr. Sloane Freeman and Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
With only 16 per cent of Canadian children double vaccinated against COVID-19, masking remains an important strategy for controlling transmission in schools, and keeping them open for in-person learning. However, there are questions around the potential impacts masking may have on the developmental and mental health of school-aged children.

Doctors’ group proposes Ontario fund new surgical centres to catch up on backlog
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Mary-Anne Aarts
A professional group representing Ontario doctors is recommending that the province fund a new model of outpatient health-care centres to help tackle a growing backlog of surgeries and other procedures.

‘A lot of grief, loss and trauma’: Drug consumption sites grapple with record number of overdoses
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Gillian Kolla
Toronto’s supervised drug consumption sites are seeing a record number of overdoses, while the city’s paramedics responded to more fatal overdoses in 2021 than any other recorded year — all signs that experts say point to a worsening opioid crisis both in Ontario and elsewhere.

February 15

Are vaccine passports no longer ‘absolutely necessary?’
CBC Radio – Metro Morning
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Dr. Razak is an internist and epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a member of Ontario’s Science Table.
Ontario hospitals facing critical shortage of blood collection tubes
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Cathy Streutker
Ontario hospitals are facing a critical shortage of collection tubes required for routine blood work, forcing some hospitals to direct staff to conserve supplies and reconsider the number of blood tests they order for patients.

Knowing the warning signs of SCAD
CTV Toronto
Comments by Dr. Chi-Ming Chow
SCAD looks a lot like a heart attack, but is a different and equally urgent heart problem that mostly affects relatively young women.

February 14

‘Catastrophic’ surgical backlog in Ontario will take years to clear, doctors say
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. David Gomez
As the crushing pressure from the Omicron wave eases, Ontario hospitals must now confront a massive surgical backlog that has forced hundreds of thousands of people to wait for scheduled surgeries, including joint replacements, cataract surgeries and some cancer procedures.

Two-thirds of Canadians ready to drop COVID-19 restrictions
National Post
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Two-thirds of Canadians believe it’s time to drop COVID-19 restrictions and begin living with the virus, according to a new poll.

February 11

Ottawa close to removing pre-arrival COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers: sources
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
The federal government is close to removing mandatory PCR testing for fully vaccinated Canadians who travel outside Canada, sources tell CBC News.

Shortage of blood-test materials leaves hospitals scrambling to treat patients
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Cathy Streutker and Dr. Fahad Razak
Canadian hospitals and laboratories say the country is facing an unprecedented shortage of tubes necessary to conduct blood tests – and if the supply chain disruption worsens or continues for an extended period, it could result in treatment delays and challenges to providing patient care.

Ottawa facing mounting pressure to drop all COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated travellers
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Two infectious diseases physicians have joined forces with the travel industry to call for an end to Canada’s pre and post-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.

February 10

Should Ontario accelerate its reopening timeline?
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Peel Region’s Dr. Lawrence Loh and science table member Dr. Fahad Razak discuss if Ontario should speed up its reopening timeline.

February 5

Pregnant people face addictions too. Instead of shame, we must approach with compassion
Toronto Star
OpEd co-written by Alice Ordean
Substance use during pregnancy is not uncommon. In 2017, approximately 8.2 per cent and 4.2 per cent of people in Canada reported smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy, respectively. Rates for illicit drug use may vary considerably and can be as high as 5 per cent.

Once a cornerstone of the pandemic response, COVID-19 testing undergoes a paradigm shift
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Irfan Dhalla
Over the past two years, mass COVID-19 testing became a pop-up government utility, as essential to a functioning Canada as public transit or snow-free streets. At peak testing rates, nearly 170,000 Canadians a day were lining up to get their nasal discharge swabbed, shipped to a lab and subjected to PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, analysis. The results had the power to upend family holiday plans and alter the government’s pandemic response.

February 4

New partnerships to tackle surgical backlog
CTV News Toronto
Comments by Dr. Ian Bookman
Unity Health has set up a partnership with a clinic to help ease the demand for non-urgent medical procedures.

Filling the AI knowledge gap in health care
The Globe and Mail
Interview with Dr. Amol Verma
AI holds vast potential to improve disease diagnoses, and to support the development of next-gen treatments, medications and therapies. The question is – are health care practitioners ready and equipped to leverage the technology?

February 3

Is COVID causing Canada’s birth rate to fall?
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Tali Bogler
Following years of slow, steady decline, Canada’s fertility rate is now at an all-time low and COVID-19 is partially to blame. In 2020, as the pandemic began, the country went from a near 4 per cent drop in births and the lowest number of births in nearly 15 years.

Foster working her way back from harrowing accident
TSN
Comments by Dr. Michael Cusimano
Rylee Foster remembers flashes of the accident in Finland. She was a passenger in the backseat and recalls the beginning – the car losing control and beginning to roll.

A recipe for hope: How to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic
Healthy Debate
OpEd co-written by Dr. Danyaal Raza
There is new reason for hope in ending unequal vaccine access and finding a global resolution for the pandemic. Researchers at Baylor College in Texas have developed a vaccine based on established technology and common handling and refrigeration techniques. Best of all, they have no intention of filing a patent but have concrete plans for large-scale manufacturing in the Global South.

February 1

What to make of the latest COVID-19 modelling
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Dr. Fahad Razak,a member of Ontario’s science advisory table, breaks down some of the latest modelling about the virus.

Up to four million Ontarians have had Omicron
CityNews
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
For the first time Premier Ford responds to the “trucker convoy” and weighs in the current COVID-19 climate in Ontario.

January 31

Patients with disabilities had longer COVID-19 hospital stays, high readmission rate: study
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Amol Verma
Sandi Bell knows how difficult it can be for someone with a disability to book a vaccine appointment through an online portal, or feel confident they’ll have a ride home from the clinic afterwards.

Our pandemic response must stop overlooking people with disabilities
The Globe and Mail
OpEd co-written by Dr. Fahad Razak and Dr. Amol Verma
Since the early days of the pandemic, the disability community has called for their prioritization in vaccination, hospital care and community support. It has long been clear that people with disabilities have a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because they are more likely to live in congregate settings, experience poverty and rely on external people for support.

Pediatrician encourages COVID-19 vaccinations through TikTok videos
CBC Radio – Metro Morning
Interview with Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
Dr. Ripudaman Minhas is a Developmental Pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital and Medical Lead for Punjabi Kids Health.

The kids left behind
The Local
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
Before it all came to a head—before she started crying, screaming, and pulling out chunks of her hair—the pandemic had taken one good thing after another from the five-year-old girl we’ll call Sriya.

Cutting through the COVID confusion
Healthy Debate
OpEd co-written by Dr. Tara Kiran
Every day, thousands of Canadians are infected with COVID. But this isn’t March 2020. As a result of high rates of vaccination and the particulars of Omicron, the overwhelming majority of those getting COVID currently will not need hospital care.

January 30

High rate of COVID-19 deaths this month in southwestern Ontario due to rate of infections, say doctors
CBC Windsor
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
The pace of deaths has accelerated this month across the province as the Omicron variant wave of COVID-19 has washed over the province, including in the southwestern region.

January 29

‘People are stranded:’ A downtown hospital is seeing a rise in cold-related injuries as shelters struggle to find spots
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Carolyn Snider, Dr. Stephen Hwang, Lp Pavey and Nicole Champagne
Physicians and outreach workers at St. Michael’s Hospital are seeing an alarming rise in the number of homeless individuals coming to the emergency department seeking shelter and suffering from severe cold-related injuries, including frostbite, painful foot infections and life-threatening hypothermia.

How Canada can avoid past mistakes as COVID-19 restrictions lift
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Irfan Dhalla
Canada is entering a new phase of the pandemic as restrictions are set to ease across much of the country. But avoiding the mistakes of the past and keeping the public onside will be extremely challenging as Omicron continues to hammer our health-care system.

January 28

We should debate the best COVID treatments. But let’s eschew revisionist history
The Globe and Mail
OpEd co-written by Dr. Arthur Slutsky and Dr. Amol Verma
Norman Doidge, our medical and academic colleague, is renowned for his writings in the realm of neuroscience and psychiatry. Dr. Doidge’s recent essay on the COVID-19 pandemic, however, seems to have generated more heat than light. It has been criticized by some as a defence of vaccine skepticism and lauded by others who agree with his contention that dissent has been stifled because of a prevailing “master narrative.”

January 27

Ontario’s crackdown on COVID-19 vaccine medical exemptions seems to be working
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Ontario’s new rules requiring a review of medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines seem to be reining in the number of people being granted a waiver from vaccination mandates.

January 25

Why being hospitalized ‘for’ COVID and ‘with’ COVID are different – and why it matters
CBC News New Brunswick
Comments by Dr. Amol Verma
Hospitalized “for COVID-19” or “with COVID-19”? It’s a distinction New Brunswick Public Health has been making recently in how it reports the number of people in hospital with the disease, and one which highlights the complexity around crediting COVID-19’s role in certain illnesses, experts say.

Help needed for those experiencing homelessness
CP24
Interview with Dr. Stephen Hwang
Advocates say more must be done to provide Toronto’s homeless population with housing, living materials and hygiene products.

Today marks two years since COVID-19 was first reported in Canada
Zoomer Radio
Interview with Dr. Prabhat Jha
Today marks two years since the ‘novel coronavirus’ was first detected in Canada, at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto. One week later, the World Health Organization would declare it a public health emergency of international concern and it would ultimately become a pandemic by March 11th.

January 24

‘No reason for any wide-spread concern yet’ over Omicron sub-variant, says epidemiologist
CBC News – Power & Politics
Interview with Dr. Prabhat Jha
Dr. Jha, epidemiologist at St. Michael’s hospital, joins Power & Politics to discuss the new Omicron sub-variant BA.2 now being investigated by U.K. health authorities.

January 22

Fully vaccinated should mean 3 doses, says head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science table
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table is calling on the province to change the definition of the term “fully vaccinated” from two to three doses, even though Premier Doug Ford said this week his government wasn’t yet planning to do so.

January 21

High-risk Ontarians lagging on third doses of COVID vaccine
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
The call for COVID-19 booster shots to blunt the fast-moving Omicron wave pushed millions of Ontarians to get third doses.

Why letting users know what’s in the drugs they’re taking is important as opioid deaths rise
CBC News
Comments by Hayley Thompson
With opioid-related deaths mounting across Canada, health experts are warning that drug checking services are now more important than ever in helping users make informed decisions — and one Toronto pilot program is helping to do just that.

Why drug checking services are essential in the opioid crisis
Global News Radio 640
Interview with Hayley Thompson
Alan Carter speaks with Hayley Thompson, project manager, Toronto’s Drug Checking Service, about the importance of drug checking in harm-reduction services.

January 20

Ontario announces 3-step plan to ease pandemic restrictions January 20, 2022
CBC News – Power & Politics
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Doctors Fahad Razak and David Naylor weigh in on Ontario’s plan to gradually ease restrictions.

January 19

Epstein-Barr virus may trigger MS later in life, research suggests
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Jiwon Oh
New research out of the U.S. suggests that having Epstein-Barr, a type of herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, may be a key trigger in developing multiple sclerosis later in life.

Researchers examine why Ontario ER visits spike when COVID-19 cases drop
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
Ontario researchers are looking into reasons behind the busiest times in the province’s emergency departments to help relieve the extreme burden facing hospital staff.

Uptake of third vaccine doses lags in many parts of the GTA that have been hot spots
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
When it comes to third-dose uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, many of the same problems with access seen throughout the rollout are happening again, with GTA neighbourhoods that have borne the heaviest burden of the pandemic seeing some of the lowest vaccination rates in the province.

Poll: Ontarians want surgery backlog prioritized
CP24
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran
Drs. Adam Kassam and Tara Kiran and Sandra Guiry with IPSOS discuss a survey that found most Ontarians want gov’t to invest in healthcare.

January 18

We are Black and Indigenous front line workers. Our own parents died of COVID-19 in Canada’s inequitable health system
Toronto Star
OpEd co-written by Dr. Suzanne Shoush
For so many in Canada, the concept of a collapsing healthcare system is impossible to conceive. For others, like our own families, the healthcare system has always been unreliable, failing and full of gaps.

Half of Ontario opioid deaths interacted with health-care system the month before: study
CBC News Network – Canada Tonight (segment starts at 19:15)
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
Half of Ontarians who died of an opioid overdose in the early stages of the pandemic had interacted with the health-care system in the month before their deaths, a new report shows.

1/4 of Ontario opioid deaths follow ‘missed opportunities’: analysis
ipolitics.ca
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes and Dr. Gillian Kolla
One out of every four people who died by an opioid overdose in Ontario in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic received health-care treatment days before their death, which researchers say could have been a chance to save their lives.

Half of Ontario opioid deaths interacted with health-care system the month before: study
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Half of Ontarians who died of an opioid overdose in the early stages of the pandemic had interacted with the health-care system in the month before their deaths, a new report shows.

Half of people who died from opioids in 2020 sought health care in the month before
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes and Dr. Gillian Kolla
Half of people who died from opioids during the first wave of the pandemic saw a health-care providerin the month leading up to their death, and a quarter sought help in the week before, a new report on opioid-related fatalities in Ontario has found.

Some Canadian travellers want to know why those entering from the U.S. face less stringent rules
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Some Canadian travellers required to spend days in isolation waiting for COVID-19 test results after returning home from abroad want to know why Ottawa allows people arriving from the U.S. to skip quarantine.

January 17

Woman living with multiple sclerosis for 20 years says latest research offers hope for answers
CBC Radio – The Current
Interview with Dr. Jiwon Oh
The news that the Epstein-Barr virus plays a role in triggering multiple sclerosis has brought “reassurance” to Allison Markin, who has been living with the condition for two decades.
‘Uniquely awful’: Ontario hospitals face shortages of critical drugs to treat COVID patients
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Beth Leung
Ontario hospitals are facing shortages of critical drugs to treat COVID-19 patients amid a surge of cases, forcing some physicians to choose which patients receive potentially life-saving care, while others don’t have access to the drugs at all.

Air Canada, WestJet, Pearson airport urge end to COVID-19 arrival testing for vaccinated travellers
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Irfan Dhalla
Canada’s busiest airport and largest airlines are calling on the federal government to drop its arrival testing rule for vaccinated air travellers, as some of the country’s leading health experts also question the policy’s value.

January 16

Questions about the Omicron variant
CBC Radio – Cross Country Checkup
Interview with Dr. Prabhat Jha
The pandemic is continuing to shift, and we know you still have questions about it. Dr. Prabhat Jha, a physician, professor of global health at the University of Toronto and epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, on what we now know about Omicron.

January 15

Doctors are noticing patients are drinking more, fuelling more hospitalizations
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Sam Elfassy and Dr. Andrew Pinto
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sam Elfassy noticed a worrying trend. The gastroenterologist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto often asks patients about their drinking habits, as he treats chronic illnesses in the liver. But the responses he began to receive were alarming: most of his patients said they were drinking more than before, even those who never drank regularly.

Expect more worrisome variants after omicron, scientists say
ABC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Get ready to learn more Greek letters. Scientists warn that omicron’s whirlwind advance practically ensures it won’t be the last version of the coronavirus to worry the world.

January 14

Will Omicron end the pandemic?
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Prabhat Jha
University of Toronto epidemiologist and founding-director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital Dr. Prabhat Jha breaks down how the pandemic wave triggered by Omicron differs from earlier ones and how other potential variants might be stopped. Could the fast and vast Omicron spread mean the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ontario’s top doctor issues directive on patient transfers amid record hospitalizations
CP24
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Soaring COVID-19 hospitalizations have prompted Ontario’s top doctor to issue a directive to support overwhelmed hospitals, integrating the transfer of patients across the province’s health system.

Toronto doctor delivers baby on Qatar Airways flight
CityNews
Comments by Dr. Aisha Khatib
A Toronto travel medicine doctor redefined the title “travel medicine” when she delivered a baby on board a Qatar Airways flight last month.

January 13

Can’t get an N95 for kids? How to mask your children for Ontario’s return to school
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Anne Wormsbecker
With in-person schooling resuming in Ontario on Monday, shielding children from COVID infection in the classroom is once again at the forefront of many parents’ minds.

Peel Region sees a lag in pediatric vaccine uptake – what’s behind the hesitancy?
Global News Radio 640
Interview with Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
Alan speaks with Dr. Ripudaman Minhas, a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, about why Peel Region is seeing below-average child vaccination rates.

January 12

A new, virtual ER trip is now at your fingertips
Toronto Sun
Comments by Dr. Alun Ackery
It is like going to the emergency room without having to travel all the way to the hospital.

Peel Region sees below-average child vaccination rates amid Omicron surge
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
Peel Region is behind the provincial average in vaccinating children five to 11 — and community health professionals say it will take a concerted outreach effort to meet the goals.

Vaccine confidence concerns in Peel Region
OMNI TV (Punjabi)
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
Ontario has seen a decline in the rate of vaccination of children against the COVID-19 vaccine. According to health experts, lack of information is one of the major reasons for this.

Omicron may be headed for a rapid drop in Britain, US
AP News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically.

January 9

You have symptoms — now what? Your COVID-19 questions answered
CBC News Windsor
Q&A with Dr. Fahad Razak
CBC Windsor asked some of your COVID-19 questions to internist and epidemiologist Dr. Fahad Razak at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

January 7

Covid death toll in India likely far higher than official record, research says
NBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Several million COVID-19 deaths have most likely gone unreported in India, according to a series of recent studies that suggest the country’s death toll from the virus is far higher than what has been officially tallied by the government.

January 6

Should you swab your nose – and your throat – for a more accurate at-home COVID test?
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
With gold-standard testing for COVID-19 becoming increasingly difficult to find, debate is swirling over whether a throat swab sample should be collected alongside a nose swab for at-home rapid tests — contrary to some package instructions.

Clinical practice guideline panels lack diversity, study shows
Healio
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
Australian, American, Canadian and British panels that developed clinical practice recommendations most often consisted of white men and excluded historically underrepresented women, researchers reported in The Lancet.

Quebec to expand use of COVID-19 vaccine passports to liquor, cannabis stores
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Irfan Dhalla
Quebec is expanding its vaccination requirement to provincial liquor and cannabis stores, and warning that other retail is next, as Ontario says COVID-19 is so prevalent that most people with symptoms won’t get access to a rapid test to confirm they have it.

January 5

Rise in babies admitted to hospital with COVID-19 triggers calls for pregnant Ontarians to get vaccinated
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tali Bogler
Ontario hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of kids, including babies, hospitalized with COVID-19, leading four major hospitals to issue a joint plea for pregnant people to get vaccinated.
Everything we know about long COVID, from strange phantom smells to chronic fatigue
National Post
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
At first, there was no sense of smell, “zero, zilch, nothing,” for weeks on end. And then Manali Mukherjee suddenly could smell smoke. She’d find herself in a panic: Is something burning? Is there a short circuit in the house? Some days it was like being inside a smokers’ lounge, the heavy cigarette smell lasting seven or eight hours and causing crippling cluster headaches.

Fed up parents call for boycott of online classes as province shifts to virtual learning to fight COVID-19
CBC News Toronto
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
There’s growing evidence that parents are getting fed up with online learning in Ontario, with some calling for boycotts and “parent strikes” as the province shifts to virtual classes for the third straight school year.

January 4

Mother pleads with Ontario for in-person learning for special needs sons
Global News
Comments by Dr. Ripudaman Minhas
The mother of twin teenagers with special needs is calling on the province to do more to accommodate her sons during the shift to online learning.

January 3

Benzodiazepines ‘a major problem’ in illicit drug supply
CBC News
Comments by Karen McDonald
Within a fraction of a second, Speedy says he knew something was wrong. In September, the longtime drug user, who didn’t want CBC to use his real name, unwittingly smoked fentanyl spiked with a benzodiazepine.

Archives: 2021

Last updated May 20, 2022