Healthcare Year In Review by the Globe and MailDec142015


It takes major news to tilt conventional wisdom off its axis – and this year had its share of blockbusters:

  • Supreme Court of Canada rules on physician-assisted suicide
  • Dairy and red meat take heat
  • Genes are tweaked
  • Overhaul sought for Home-care
  • The brain’s blood-brain barrier is breeched
  • The anti-vaccination movement loses steam
  • Germs get their due
  • Autism gets reimagined
  • Fairy-tale romance gets a reality check
  • We stand up to sitting
  • Infants nibble solid food earlier 

Read the full article on The Globe and Mail website.


OXA-48 strain of CPO in the newsDec092015

Several stories have been circulating in the U.S. press around a strain of CPO that the media has dubbed “The Phantom Menace”. The stories refer to this report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on December 4, 2015. The main summary points of the report are:

  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae 16803_loresThe plasmid containing OXA-48-like genes has high transfer efficiency, and the OXA-48 gene is more difficult to identify.
  • CDC has modified their surveillance definition from Jan 2015, which should improve sensitivity for detecting OXA-48.
  • They are reporting aggregated numbers from 2010-2015, so we can’t see yet if the testing is showing more cases.
  • Only 52 cases were identified from 19 states (not all states send their isolates to the CDC for testing)

You can read the full CDC report here.



BCCDC Reportable Disease DashboardDec072015

The BC Centre for Disease Control’s public health analytics team has created an interactive tool that provides summary statistics on a variety of reportable diseases and conditions in British Columbia.
​​You can now search by disease, health region, and date range to see the geographic distribution, age and sex breakdowns, and the counts and rates for each health authority and health service delivery area for the selected disease.
The reportable diseases dashboard will allow you to quickly and effectively explore the data on reportable communicable disease incidence from 2003 onwards through interactive maps and charts.
​More in-depth information about the diseases and statistics can be found in the regular summaries of reportable diseases.​​
ArrowRed You can view the reportable disease dashboard on the BCCDC website.

Case control study for MERS-CoV risk factorsDec072015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a study on Risk Factors for Primary Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Illness in Humans, Saudi Arabia, 2014.

Read the full article in CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 22, Number 1—January 2016.

MERS_CoV 18172_crop

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), this highly-magnified, digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals ultrastructural details at the site of interaction of numerous yellow-colored Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) viral particles that were on the surface of a Vero E6 cell, which had been colorized blue. Please see the Flickr link below for additional NIAID photomicrographs of MERS-CoV.