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Newsletter. Issue 2005-21. Oct. 15, 2005
 
 
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Health & Wellness

Avian influenza A ( H5N1 ): Health Canada's recommendations

As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends to avoid unnecessary contact with domestic poultry and wild birds. This includes poultry farms as well as markets where live and slaughtered animals such as chickens and ducks are sold, as these animals have been found to be carriers of the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. Evidence suggests that the risk of infection is greatest in persons having direct contact with live and/or dead poultry including surfaces contaminated with their feces or secretions. Travellers should be aware that it is possible for the avian influenza A ( H5N1 ) virus to stick to hair and clothing, and may be inhaled.

Ensure that poultry prepared for consumption is thoroughly cooked to eliminate the risk of infection. Internal temperatures for whole chicken and parts should reach 82°C-85°C.While to date there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through contaminated food, it is always advisable to avoid undercooked or raw poultry dishes, including eggs and egg products.

Follow normal precautions regarding food storage, handling and preparation.Travellers are advised to maintain high standards of hygiene, including thorough hand washing, particularly after having contacted eggs or undercooked fowl and egg products and to avoid cross contamination with other food products. Using hot, soapy water and lathering for at least 20 seconds is the single most important procedure for preventing infections.This is because disease-causing micro-organisms can frequently be found on the hands. Alternatively, travellers can use waterless, alcohol-based antiseptic hand rinses. If there is visible soiling, hands should be washed with soap and water before using waterless antiseptic hand rinses. If soap and water are unavailable, cleanse hands first with detergent-containing towelettes to remove visible soil.

Source: Health Canada, 2005

Ontario Human Commission settles complaints with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

See: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/english/news/e_pr_dpcdsb-settlement.shtml for entire text

Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission has mediated a positive settlement with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. The four complaints arose from concerns that the application of school discipline policies was having a discriminatory impact on students from racialized communities and students with disabilities.

The settlement follows a Commission investigation. Through cooperation and good will, the parties reached a very positive agreement. It's terms will result in increased education and understanding around race and disability-related issues for the Board and the staff and students at its schools.

One of the key issues raised in the complaints was that mitigating factors were not being sufficiently considered before imposing a suspension or expulsion on a student. In one case, a student with attention deficit disorder asserted that his inability to sufficiently control his behaviour due to his disability was not considered nor accommodated before he was suspended. In other cases, students related that they were the target of racial or other harassment. Such mitigating factors need to be taken into account before determining whether any discipline or measures less severe than suspension or expulsion are more appropriate.

The Commission’s review of research in other jurisdictions shows that it is important for education systems to take into account the discriminatory impact that suspension and expulsion measures can have on racialized students and students with disabilities, particularly on students’ ability to complete an education.

As part of the resolution of these cases, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board has committed to undertake a number of measures ranging from anti-racism awareness and disability accommodation training, to sharing information on accessing the appeal process. Other initiatives include making alternative educational programs and services available to all students under suspension or expulsion, and working with the Commission to look at gathering statistics and ensuring measures undertaken respect the principles set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Ontarians urged to beware of auto insurance fraud ring
TORONTO, Oct. 11 /CNW/ -

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) wishes to warn all Ontarians of an insurance fraud ring across the province.It has been brought to the association's attention that over the past several weeks, ads have been circulating throughout the media in dozens of cities across the province advertising fraudulent automobile insurance.IBAO wishes to warn Ontarians that these ads are a hoax, and this type of activity is illegal with severe penalties."Consumers should be leery of offers that include 6 months freeautomobile insurance and offers to reduce your current rates by 50%," says IBAO President Dave Hare.IBAO wants to stress that consumers of automobile insurance should bevigilant with all their insurance purchases. "If it seems too good to be true,ask questions," adds Hare. Some tips to assist you are as follows:
 
- If an offer appears "too good to be true", it probably is.
- Do some research on the name of the insurer provided to you;(internet, phone book, call another broker)
- Always ask for details about the agent or brokerage you are dealing with (name, address, web address, etc.)
- Be vigilant and carefully read the documents you sign. Never sign anything without having read it.
- Be careful when providing credit card information or any other form of payment such as a postal money order that is requested to be mailed in or a wire transfer.
 
All licensed insurance companies operating in Ontario can be found on the Financial Services Commission of Ontario web site at www.fsco.gov.on.ca. Broker and brokerage licensing status can be found at www.ribo.com.Should anyone see any of these types of ads offering "free insurance",please inform RIBO at (416) 365-1900/Toll Free 1-800-265-3097 or FSCO at
(416) 250-7250/Toll Free at 1-800-668-0128.

Health Canada Warns Against Excessive Use of Energy Drinks or mixing them with Alcohol
Date Published: October 7, 2005
Source: Newsinferno.com News Staff

According to Health Canada, excessive drinking of "energy drinks" or mixing them with alcohol can have serious health effects.These drinks are available almost anywhere and are usually displayed alongside soft drinks, juices and sports drinks. Some of the brand names include:



* Red Bull Energy Drink
* Impulse Energy Drink
* Dark Dog
* Shark Energy Drink
* Hype Energy Drink
* SoBe Adrenaline Rush
* EAS Piranha Energy Drink
* AMO Energy Drink
* Red Rain
* Red Dragon Energy Drink
* Diablo Energy Drink
* YJ Stinger


They are meant to supply mental and physical stimulation for a short period of time. They usually contain caffeine, taurine (an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein) and glucuronolactone, a carbohydrate."Energy drinks" are not the same as sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade, which re-hydrate the body. Sports drinks also provide sugars, which the body burns to create energy and replenish electrolytes.Electrolytes maintain salt and potassium balances in the body.The problems with "energy drinks" arise when too many are consumed or when they are mixed with alcohol. For example, they have become popular at all-night dance parties, bars, and clubs.

Many people drink them to keep up their energy during periods of intense physical activity or after exercise as a thirst quencher. But rather than re-hydrating their bodies, these drinks may actually lead to dehydration.Canadian officials have stated that because of the effects they have, some "energy drinks" may have to be regulated as natural health products under the Natural Health Product (NHP) Regulations, depending on their ingredients (such as caffeine and vitamins), and the claims they make.

Under the regulations, natural health products have to undergo a review process for their quality and safety. They also have to display recommended conditions for use, as well as cautions.

Currently, only Red Bull Energy Drink is authorized for sale as a natural health product and bears a natural health product number (NPN). The safety of other "energy drinks" (including those listed above) has not yet been evaluated under the NHP Regulations.

Four reports of adverse reactions involving "energy drinks" similar to Red Bull Energy Drink, have been reported to Health Canada. In those reports, symptoms included: electrolyte disturbances; nausea and vomiting; and heart irregularities.

These four incidents involved improper use of "energy drinks," such as drinking them with alcohol or in greater quantities than recommended. It was not possible, however, to tell if the symptoms reported were due to the effect of combining the "energy drink" with alcohol, or due to alcohol itself.

Health Canada warns that if you drink "energy drinks," be aware of the following:

* Red Bull Energy Drink is considered a health product in Canada and should be used according to the label instructions.
* Do not drink excessive amounts of Red Bull Energy Drink. The limit on Red Bull Energy Drink is 500 mL or two cans a day, as indicated on the product label.
* Do not mix Red Bull Energy Drink with alcohol.
* If you engage in intense physical activity or exercise, drink enough water to help re-hydrate your system.
* The safety profiles of other similar "energy drinks" have not been evaluated by Health Canada. It is not wise to drink excessive amounts of any "energy drink" or to mix them with alcohol.
* If you have an adverse reaction to an "energy drink", report it."Due to the reported adverse reactions, as well as the media attention surrounding the safety of Red Bull Energy Drink and similar products, Health Canada is monitoring their use and will take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. This may include regulating other "energy drinks" under the Natural Health Products regulations."
 


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