Tag: disease

COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) | health.vic.gov.au

Key messages

  • COVID-19 is a leading cause of death in Australia.
  • The ongoing and significant burden of disease is driven by continued viral evolution and waning population immunity.
  • The impacts of COVID-19 can be limited through vaccination, antiviral treatment and non-pharmacological interventions that limit transmission such as testing, case isolation, mask wearing, and ventilation improvements.
  • It is estimated that 5-10% of people with COVID go on to develop post-acute COVID symptoms and conditions.
  • Pathology laboratories must notify COVID-19 results.
  • Residential care facilities, including aged and disability residential care, are at higher risk from COVID-19 outbreaks and should notify outbreaks to enable the provision of support.

This page provides COVID-19 guidance for the health sector. COVID-19 information for the public is available on Better Health ChannelExternal Link . There you will find information on preventing COVID-19, what to do if you are unwell or have tested positive for COVID-19 or have come in contact with a case.

Notification requirement for COVID-19

COVID-19 is a routine notifiable condition under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019. Pathology services must notify all cases to the Department of Health within 5 days. Notification is also required weekly for all tests performed in relation to COVID-19, this notification must be in writing within 5 business days of the end of that period. Medical practitioners are not required to notify cases of COVID-19.

Primary school and children’s services centre exclusion for COVID-19

Children diagnosed with COVID-19 are recommended to isolate. They should not attend school or childcare until 5 days after the date of the positive PCR or rapid antigen test result for COVID-19 and until acute symptoms of COVID-19 have resolved.

Acute symptoms include:

  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever, chills and/or sweats.

Infectious agent of COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 is the infectious

New Brunswick man says he waited weeks for medical information about his rare disease

A New Brunswick man, who says he wasn’t told about warning signs of his rare condition until six weeks after a doctor noted them, believes he fell through the cracks in the province’s overwhelmed health-care system.

“I had to trust the medical system, which we all trust,” said Jean-Claude Belliveau of Memramcook.

Belliveau sometimes gets foot ulcers, which are sores on his feet linked to his Type 2 diabetes.

In November 2023, a nurse doing a routine check-up of his feet told him he had an infection.

He was admitted to the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont Hospital’s trauma department in Moncton, and had to have a toe amputated due to a flesh-eating bacteria infection.

Shortly before Christmas, he says his family doctor told him his foot had another infection, and urged him to go back to the same hospital.

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His foot was X-rayed and he wasn’t given any news after his discharge.

Belliveau attended various follow-up appointments through January, and had another X-ray in late January.

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On Feb. 1, he said a doctor called him with the results of that X-ray and told him he had a rare condition called Charcot foot.

Charcot foot is a rare complication of diabetes that can cause weakening of the bones.

“My bones are shattering, meaning they’re just shattering,” said Belliveau.

“That’s why I’m wearing a cast, because they have to immobilize my foot. So I have absolutely no movement.”

He says he was told it was imperative not to put any pressure on his foot or he could need to amputate everything below his knee.

After hearing the diagnosis, Belliveau decided to look up his own medical records on MyHealthNB to see the results of the December 2023

Why L.A.’s battle against a deadly disease relies on unpaid volunteers

As evening fell in her Glendale apartment, Dara Bruce fed her pet rats George and Fred, poured herself a glass of water, and dialed a complete stranger to discuss the dangerous virus detected in his blood.

“Is now a good time to talk?” she asked.

Bruce is a volunteer in the enduring fight against hepatitis C. The stealthy killer claims the lives of roughly 14,000 Americans each year, even though it can be readily cured with a few months of pills. Many people have no idea they are infected, going years without symptoms before the blood-borne virus devastates the liver.

Yet public funding to combat hepatitis C is so scant that in Los Angeles County — an area more populous than many states — the crucial work of contacting those who are infected is being done by unpaid emissaries like Bruce through a fledgling initiative called Project Connect.

A partnership between USC and the county public health department, Project Connect trains volunteers to call people who have tested positive for the virus to make sure they know their results and encourage them to get the medication they need.

Sitting behind her desk lined with anatomy textbooks — the artifacts of the master’s degree in integrative anatomical sciences that she had just earned from USC — Bruce double checked that she had the right person before giving him the news. His reaction made her brighten.

“Oh, beautiful!” she exclaimed after the man told her he had been treated. “I love to hear that.”

It isn’t something she hears a lot. Among those contacted by Project Connect through mid-January, less than a third had been treated. That echoes the dismal statistics across the U.S., where only about a third of people who test positive start treatment within a year.

Across the

Communicable Disease Prevention in K-12 Schools

On this page:

Communicable disease activity at school

Communicable diseases circulate in our communities. As long as cases occur within our communities, K to12 students and staff members may be affected. Schools have communicable disease prevention measures in place and will contact public health if they have concerns about communicable disease transmission within schools and require additional support.

Prevention measures

Prevention measures are in place to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. These include effective personal practices like health awareness, staying home when sick and regular hand cleaning. All students and staff should:

Online and homeschooling programs are available to students if alternative learning options are needed.

Health awareness

Health awareness reduces the likelihood of a person coming to school when they are sick. This includes checking regularly for symptoms of illness to make sure you or your child don’t come to school while sick.

Students, staff and other adults should follow public health guidance and the recommendations of their health care provider when they are sick. Health information is also available from Healthlink BC or by calling 8-1-1.


The decision to wear a mask or face covering is a personal choice for everyone. People can choose to continue to wear a mask throughout the day or during specific activities. This choice will be supported and treated with respect. 

Communicable disease guidelines

The Provincial Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 School Settings are developed by the Ministry of Education and Child Care, in collaboration with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Indigenous rightsholders and education partners, including teachers, parents and school leaders.

These guidelines build on public health guidance, and are used by boards of education, independent school authorities and schools to support communicable disease prevention planning.


School districts will ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

Do vitamin D supplements help prevent heart disease?

Two capsules of vitamin D on a flat surfaceShare on Pinterest
Taking vitamin D supplements may have cardiovascular health benefits. Nicole Mason/Stocksy
  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for bone health and immune system support
  • Australian researchers followed a group of older people to see whether vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of major heart disease events, such as heart attack and stroke.
  • The researchers gave the test group a monthly vitamin D supplement which they took for five years.
  • While the risk reduction was not as great as the researchers had hoped, they did learn that the people who took vitamin D supplements had a small risk reduction for certain major cardiovascular events.

A study recently published by The BMJdetails a clinical trial led by a group of Australian researchers who wanted to learn what impact vitamin D may have on reducing major heart disease events such as heart attacks and strokes.

The researchers followed a group of older adults between ages 60 and 84. This particular age group is known to be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

While the scientists did not find that vitamin D had any impact on strokes when comparing the control and test groups, they did learn that the rate of major cardiovascular events was 9% lower in the group that took the vitamin D supplement.

Considering how deadly CVD can be and the burden it may have on the healthcare system, scientists have been looking for ways to improve treatments for such diseases and prevent them.

According to the study authors, prior studies did not show a connection between vitamin D and reducing CVD risk, but the authors thought those studies had limitations. The authors noted that “vitamin D has biological effects which suggest it could influence cardiovascular disease,” which prompted them to

How it can raise a person’s risk of heart disease

A man performs a finger prick blood testShare on Pinterest
Blood tests can be a useful tool for measuring proteins linked to heart disease. Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images
  • Researchers say one-third of people with type 2 diabetes may have undetected cardiovascular disease.
  • In a new study, the researchers reported that many people with type 2 diabetes had elevated levels of two proteins associated with heart disease.
  • They said the study results emphasize the need for medical professionals to check for cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

One-third of people with type 2 diabetes had elevated levels of two protein markers, compared to 16% of those without diabetes, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers analyzed health information and blood samples from 10,300 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

That survey collected the data from 1999-2004.

The study participants had not reported any history of cardiovascular disease when they enrolled.

The researchers honed in on two protein markers – troponin T and N terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide – that are used to measure injury and stress to the heart and are routinely used to diagnose a heart attack and heart failure.

Elevated levels of these proteins in the bloodstream might be early warning signs of changes in the structure and function of the heart, which could increase the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and early death.

After analyzing the blood samples as well as mortality statistics collected from the National Death Index, the scientists reported that:

  • One-third of people with type 2 diabetes had elevated levels of the two protein markers, compared to 16% of those without diabetes.
  • In people with type 2 diabetes, elevated levels of the protein markers were associated with an increased risk of all-cause

What Are the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can vary from one person to another. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of the disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as finding the right word, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the early stages of Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe and include increased confusion and behavior changes.

graphic of a woman sitting at a desk with a laptop looking confused.

For most people with Alzheimer’s — those who have the late-onset variety — symptoms first appear in their mid-60s or later. When the disease develops before age 65, it’s considered early-onset Alzheimer’s, which can begin as early as a person’s 30s, although this is rare.

Alzheimer’s typically progresses clinically in several stages: preclinical, mild (sometimes called early-stage), moderate, and severe (sometimes called late-stage).

Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

Research suggests that the complex brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s, such as the formation of amyloid plaques or tau tangles, start a decade or more before memory and thinking problems appear. This stage, in which changes in the brain appear before the onset of dementia, is called preclinical Alzheimer’s. However, it’s important to note that not everyone with these brain changes develops dementia.

Signs of Mild Alzheimer’s disease

In mild Alzheimer’s, a person may seem healthy but has more and more trouble making sense of the world around them. The realization that something is wrong often comes gradually to the person and their family. Problems can include:

Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage.

Signs of moderate Alzheimer’s disease

In this stage, more intensive supervision and care become necessary. These changes and increasing needs can be difficult for many spouses and families. Symptoms may include:

Forgetfulness: Normal or Not? infographic. Click link for full infographic.
Share this infographic and help spread the word about what memory problems are normal and not.
  • Increased confusion and

How Is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?


Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and it is unlikely that any one drug or other intervention will ever successfully treat it in all people living with the disease. Still, in recent years, scientists have made tremendous progress in better understanding Alzheimer’s and in developing and testing new treatments.

Older woman and her doctor having a serious conversationSeveral prescription drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s, and other medications have recently emerged to treat the progression of the disease.

Most FDA-approved drugs work best for people in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s. There are currently no known interventions that will cure Alzheimer’s.

  • Clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease treatments

    Volunteers are needed for clinical trials that are testing ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease. By joining one of these studies, you may help scientists discover new Alzheimer’s treatments and contribute useful information to help people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease

Treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can help provide people with comfort, dignity, and independence for a longer period of time and also assist their caregivers. Galantamine, rivastigmine, and donepezil are cholinesterase inhibitors that are prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s symptoms. These drugs may help reduce or control some cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Cholinesterase inhibitors prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical believed to be important for memory and thinking. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the brain produces less acetylcholine and, over time, these medicines eventually lose their effectiveness. Because cholinesterase inhibitors work in a similar way, switching from one to another may not produce significantly different results, but a person living with Alzheimer’s may respond better to one drug versus another.

Lecanemab and aducanumab are immunotherapies with FDA Accelerated Approval to treat early Alzheimer’s. These drugs target the protein beta-amyloid to

Statement on the fourteenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

The WHO Director-General has the pleasure of transmitting the Report of the fourteenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic, held on Friday 27 January 2023, from 14:00 to 17:00 CET.

The WHO Director-General concurs with the advice offered by the Committee regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and determines that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The Director-General acknowledges the Committee’s views that the COVID-19 pandemic is probably at a transition point and appreciates the advice of the Committee to navigate this transition carefully and mitigate the potential negative consequences.

The WHO Director-General considered the advice provided by the Committee regarding the proposed Temporary Recommendations. The set of Temporary Recommendations issued by the WHO Director-General is presented at the end of this statement.

The WHO Director-General expresses his sincere gratitude to the Chair and Members of the Committee, as well as to the Committee’s Advisors.


Proceedings of the meeting

The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed Members and Advisors of the Emergency Committee, who were convened by videoconference. He noted that this week marks the three-year anniversary of the determination of the COVID-19 PHEIC in January 2020. While the world is in a better position than it was during the peak of the Omicron transmission one year ago, more than 170 000 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported globally within the last eight weeks. In addition, surveillance and genetic sequencing have declined globally, making it more difficult to track known variants and detect new ones. Health systems are currently struggling with COVID-19 and caring for patients with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), health workforce shortages, and fatigued health workers. Vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics have been and remain critical in preventing severe

House Of The Office Of Well being Promotion And Disease Prevention

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