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Grippe : les enfants canadiens font les frais d’une saison hâtive

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« Nous constatons une quantité énorme de maladies virales chez les enfants », explique la Dre Catherine Farrell, spécialiste en soins pédiatriques intensifs au CHU Sainte-Justine de Montréal.

« Nos hôpitaux sont pleins à craquer. Nos salles d’urgence sont surchargées. Nos unités pour patients hospitalisés sont pleines et nous avons un très haut taux d’occupation aux soins intensifs pour des patients souffrant de maladies respiratoires. Et c’est comme ça partout au Québec », précise la Dre Farrell.

Il y a différents virus respiratoires en circulation actuellement, indique-t-elle, incluant l’influenza A qui peut mener à des infections secondaires sérieuses comme la pneumonie, qui force l’hospitalisation des enfants.

Cette année, plus de trois fois plus d’enfants ont été hospitalisés en raison de la grippe que l’année dernière, selon le dernier rapport de l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada.

L'édifice principal du CHU Sainte-Justine.Les salles d’urgence de nombreux hôpitaux à travers le pays sont surchargées en cette saison de la grippe. Photo : Radio-Canada / Martin Thibault

Une saison de la grippe arrivée plus tôt

En date du 15 décembre, la santé publique du Canada avait dénombré 8245 cas de grippes chez des adultes et des enfants. Environ 10 % de ces cas, soit 864, ont mené à une hospitalisation et plus de 280 de ces hospitalisations étaient des enfants de 16 ans et moins.

La majorité des 47 cas plus sérieux qui ont requis l’admission aux soins intensifs étaient des enfants de moins de 10 ans, selon le dernier rapport.

Pour la même période l’année dernière, l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada faisait état de 2400 cas de moins et de seulement 26 enfants hospitalisés.

Il existe plusieurs raisons qui pourraient expliquer cette augmentation des cas d’influenza chez les enfants canadiens, a indiqué Anna Maddison, porte-parole pour l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada dans un courriel envoyé à CBC.

La saison de la grippe qui est en cours a commencé deux semaines plus tôt si l’on compare avec l’année dernière.

Anna Maddison, porte-parole pour l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada

En effet, la saison a débuté à la mi-octobre plutôt qu’en début novembre. Il est donc possible qu’à la fin de cette saison, les résultats soient les mêmes que l’année passée, mais que les cas se soient tout simplement manifestés plus tôt.

Des souches diverses

La souche de grippe dominante qui circule cette année, soit l’influenza A H1N1, est aussi associée à « un plus haut taux d’infection chez les enfants que chez les adultes ».

L’année dernière, la souche dominante était plutôt celle de l’influenza A H3N2, un type de grippe particulièrement virulent qui rendait des gens de tous âges malades, mais a causé l’hospitalisation de davantage d’adultes de 65 ans et plus.

Bien que la grippe soit « une infection assez sévère » en comparaison au rhume, la majorité des personnes, enfants et adultes, sont en mesure de récupérer à la maison sans avoir à visiter un centre hospitalier, explique Isaac Bogoh, un spécialiste en maladies infectieuses à l’Hôpital général de Toronto.

Les très jeunes enfants, les aînés et les personnes ayant des conditions médicales, comme des maladies cardiaques ou pulmonaires, sont les plus à risque et doivent être hospitalisés, indique-t-il.

Une personne reçoit un vaccin contre la grippe.Selon l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada, le vaccin contre la grippe serait plus efficace cette année que l’année dernière. Photo : La Presse canadienne / Jacques Boissinot

Des inquiétudes quant aux pneumonies

Le CHU Sainte-Justine à Montréal et l’Hôpital pour enfants malades de Toronto ont tous deux traité de nombreux enfants atteints de la pneumonie dans les dernières semaines, bien qu’il ne soit pas toujours clair si ces cas sont liés à la grippe.

La pneumonie peut être liée à l’influenza, mais elle peut aussi être causée par d’autres maladies virales ou bactériennes chez les enfants.

Catherine Farrell, spécialiste en soins pédiatriques intensifs

Cependant, contrairement à la majorité des maladies, il existe un vaccin pour la grippe, affirme la docteur qui est aussi présidente de la Société canadienne de pédiatrie.

Elle ajoute, d’autant plus, qu’il n’est pas trop tard pour les parents de vacciner leur enfant.

Des agents de la santé publique ont admis que le vaccin administré l’année dernière avait eu un taux d’efficacité décevant. Bien qu’il soit trop tôt pour évaluer l’efficacité du vaccin de cette année, l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada estime qu’il est plus prometteur que son prédécesseur.

« Les composantes du vaccin de cette année semblent bien réagir au virus H1N1 qui prédomine actuellement au Canada », explique Anna Maddison.

Selon Isaac Bogoh, vacciner son enfant contre la grippe « va de soi ». « Il est probable que le vaccin soit bien meilleur que celui de l’année dernière », dit-il.

Quand dois-je amener mon enfant à l’hôpital?

Jonathan Gubbay, médecin spécialisé en maladies infectieuses chez les enfants et microbiologiste pour la Santé publique de l’Ontario, explique qu’il existe des signes qui permettent de déceler une infection respiratoire aiguë.

Ces symptômes sont, entre autres :

  • une fièvre qui dure plusieurs jours,
  • un souffle court,
  • une respiration rapide.

Si un enfant présente ces symptômes, il est recommandé de consulter un professionnel de la santé, selon le Dr Gubbay.

Avec les informations de Nicole Ireland

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Chris Selley: The blinding incoherence of Ottawa’s hotel-quarantine theatre is becoming obvious

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Canada’s new mandatory hotel quarantine system landed over the weekend like a wet, mildewy towel. You have to book by phone. No one answers. There are multiple reports of Canadian citizens being put on hold for three hours, then cut off seemingly automatically.

“Our trained and specialized travel counsellors are providing around-the-clock service to facilitate hotel bookings,” a spokesperson for American Express Global Business Travel told National Post.

The “regular hours of operation” listed are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Ottawa time.

Officials have blamed the call backlog on people calling too far in advance of travel. Would you wait until the recommended 48 hours before your flight? The online advice implies you need “proof of having reserved and pre-paid for (hotel) accommodation” even to get on the plane. In fact, help is available for those disembarking without reservations, a Public Health spokesman said.

That might be useful information to put on the internet. But then, so would a reservation system. All the participating hotels already have one of those.

For now, this all-too-predictable shambles isn’t a problem for the government. On social media, many are revelling in the misery and stress it’s causing, calling it travellers’ just deserts  — never mind if it’s an expat coming home to take a job, or a grieving family returning from a funeral, and not some fully vaccinated cartoon-villain snowbird. Former Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips and Canada’s other gallivanting politicos created a full-on moral panic overnight, and the feds, hitherto scornful of anyone who suggested international travel was worth worrying about, were happy to provide some red meat.

The populist glee will wear off, though, and the blinding incoherence of this policy will eventually dawn on people. There is evidence right here at home that may illustrate the problem.

Since November, travellers arriving at Calgary’s airport on international flights, or overland  into Alberta from Montana, could take a test upon arrival, and another a week later, and upon receipt of two negative results avoid the 14-days quarantine that has otherwise been demanded of “non-essential” humans entering the country for nearly a year. That “pilot project” was unceremoniously cancelled Sunday night.

At first, participants were allowed out and about, with a few restrictions, as soon as the test-on-arrival came back negative — usually within 48 hours. Upon receipt of the second negative result, they were subject to even fewer restrictions for the remainder of the two weeks. Later, travellers from the U.K. and South Africa were excluded; the federal rule requiring a negative test to board a flight to Canada kicked in; and on January 25, the rules changed such that pilot-project participants had to remain in quarantine until the second negative result after a week.

With the U.K. and South Africa excluded and a negative test required to board, the percentage of travellers testing positive on arrival dropped by half, from 1.47 to 0.75 per cent; the number testing positive a week later dropped by one-third, from 0.74 to 0.5 per cent.

It’s a small sample size. It doesn’t prove anything. But it’s intuitive: if you weed out high-risk travellers, and test before departure, you get fewer initial positives. This hints at one approach Canada could have taken but didn’t: focus more stringent measures on certain countries. Do we really need to treat arrivals from famously COVID-free countries like New Zealand (0.7 new daily cases per million population, on a two-week average), or Taiwan (0.03 cases), the same as those disembarking flights from Israel (384), the United Arab Emirates (296) or the United States (202)?

That one in 200 travellers were still testing positive after a week highlights the central flaw in the government’s plan, however. As I noted two weeks ago, research suggests the probability of a “false negative” PCR test only falls below 50 per cent on the fifth day after infection. If your goal is to prevent international travellers from transmitting COVID-19 to anyone in Canada, you can accomplish it vastly more effectively with a five- or seven-day quarantine, followed by another test, than with three days waiting for the result of a test conducted at the airport.

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Carleton Master’s Sociology Student to Receive Royal Ottawa Award for Mental Health Work

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Charlotte Smith, a Carleton University master’s student in Sociology, has faced overwhelming challenges throughout her life: childhood sexual abuse, homelessness, incarceration, drug dependency.

Undaunted, she has channelled these experiences into her academic, advocacy and activist work, developing research projects to address youth homelessness, creating a bursary to help homeless youth attend Carleton, and delivering food, phones and other essential items to homeless and precariously housed youth who are struggling during the pandemic.

For these actions, and for sharing her story of recovery to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, Smith will be awarded the Personal Leader for Mental Health award at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health’s 2021 Inspiration Awards.

“It can be re-traumatizing, embarrassing and awkward talking so publicly about your mental health and substance use issues, so it’s comforting when someone tells you that you’re not just oversharing, you’re actually making a small difference in other people’s lives,” says Smith, who will be joined on the Inspiration Awards virtual podium by Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon, winner of the Royal’s Transformational Leader award.

“Getting an award like this is fantastic, but there are so many people doing so much important work on mental health and substance use,” says Smith, who last year won a Community Builder Award from the United Way East Ontario for her volunteer efforts in COVID times.

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Shopify Launches Offering of Class A Subordinate Voting Shares

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OTTAWA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP)(TSX:SHOP) (“Shopify”) today announced that it has filed a preliminary prospectus supplement (the “Preliminary Supplement”) to its short form base shelf prospectus dated August 6, 2020 (the “Base Shelf Prospectus”). The Preliminary Supplement was filed in connection with a public offering of Shopify’s Class A subordinate voting shares (the “Offering”). The Preliminary Supplement has been filed with the securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada, except Québec. The Preliminary Supplement has also been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as part of Shopify’s registration statement on Form F-10 (the “Registration Statement”) under the U.S./Canada Multijurisdictional Disclosure System.

A total of 1,180,000 Class A subordinate voting shares will be offered by Shopify for sale under the Offering, which will be led by Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (the “Underwriters”).Shopify will grant the Underwriters an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Class A subordinate voting shares to be sold pursuant to the Offering (the “Over-Allotment Option”). The Over-Allotment Option will be exercisable for a period of 30 days from the date of the final prospectus supplement relating to the Offering. Allen & Company LLC is acting as special advisor to the Company with respect to the Offering.

Shopify expects to use the net proceeds from the Offering to strengthen its balance sheet, providing flexibility to fund its growth strategies.

Closing of the Offering will be subject to a number of closing conditions, including the listing of the Class A subordinate voting shares to be issued under the Offering on the NYSE and the TSX.

No securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved the contents of this news release. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any province, state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such province, state or jurisdiction. The Preliminary Supplement, the Base Shelf Prospectus and the Registration Statement contain important detailed information about the Offering. A copy of the Preliminary Supplement and Base Shelf Prospectus can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.sec.gov, and a copy of the Registration Statement can be found on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. Copies of these documents may also be obtained from Citigroup, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, Telephone: 1-800-831-9146; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, Eleven Madison Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010, Telephone: 1-800-221-1037 or e-mail: usa.prospectus@credit-suisse.com; Credit Suisse Securities (Canada), Inc., Attention: Olivier Demet, 1 First Canadian Place, Suite 2900, Toronto, Ontario M5X 1C9, Telephone: 416-352-4749 or e-mail: olivier.demet@credit-suisse.com; or Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attn: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, telephone: 866-471-2526, facsimile: 212-902-9316 or email: prospectusny@ny.email.gs.com. Prospective investors should read the Preliminary Supplement, the Base Shelf Prospectus and the Registration Statement before making an investment decision.

About Shopify

Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Allbirds, Gymshark, Heinz, Staples Canada and many more.

We were proudly founded in Ottawa, Canada, but prefer to think of the company location as Internet, Everywhere. Shopify is a company of and by the internet, and we have physical outposts around the world. The archaic newswire system doesn’t allow us to acknowledge this fact, so we will henceforth keep this paragraph in our press releases until technology improves.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”) including statements regarding the proposed Offering, the terms of the Offering and the proposed use of proceeds. Words such as “expects”, “continue”, “will”, “plans”, “anticipates” and “intends” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based on Shopify’s current expectations about future events and financial trends that management believes might affect its financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs, and on certain assumptions and analysis made by Shopify in light of the experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors management believes are appropriate. These projections, expectations, assumptions and analyses are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, events and achievements to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Although Shopify believes that the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect, and readers cannot be assured that the Offering discussed above will be completed on the terms described above. Completion of the proposed Offering is subject to numerous factors, many of which are beyond Shopify’s control, including but not limited to, the failure of customary closing conditions and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in Shopify’s filings with the SEC and the securities commissions or similar securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces or territories of Canada. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Shopify’s expectations as of the date of this news release, or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made, and subsequent events may cause these expectations to change. Shopify undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

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