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Health

Obama asking Congress for emergency funding to combat Zika

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there shouldn't be a panic on this."

The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect -- babies born with abnormally small heads -- and pregnant Americans are urged to avoid travel to affected areas. READ

WHO declares global emergency over Zika virus spread

The World Health Organization declared an international emergency on Monday over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects in the Americas, saying it is an "extraordinary event." READ

Zika virus poses only 'very low' threat to Canada: chief public health officer

The mosquito-borne Zika virus "does not present a significant public health risk to Canada," the country's chief public health officer said Friday. READ

All B.C. paramedics, some firefighters, approved to administer life saving drug

Firefighters in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C., have been moved to the frontlines in the battle against the soaring number of overdoses and drug deaths. READ

Canadian Blood Services to defer donations from travellers to Zika-endemic areas

Canadian Blood Services will soon refuse blood donations from those who have travelled to countries where the mosquito-borne Zika virus has become widespread. READ

Air Canada to give refunds or allow passengers to change flights over Zika virus

Air Canada says it is allowing passengers and companions in their immediate family to change bookings or receive a refund if they cancel flights because of concerns about the Zika virus outbreak. READ

Alberta minister hopes report can improve how police react to mental health cases

Alberta's justice minister is hoping the province can improve how police handle people with mental health issues. READ

Rehm fighting for the good death

In theatrical makeup and camera-ready attire, her hair an ivory meringue, Diane Rehm is an intensely visual person — “I love clothes more than I love food,” she likes to say — whose medium happens to be radio. READ

Health minister: Brazil is 'losing battle' against mosquito

Brazil's health minister says the country is sending some 220,000 troops to battle the mosquito blamed for spreading a virus suspected of causing birth defects — but he also says the war is already being lost. READ

Study by Calgary doctors warns home cooks about parasites in raw fish

Calgary doctors say a rare parasite could become more common as uncooked culinary trends such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche grow in popularity. A new report in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology examines the case of a Calgary man stricken by tiny parasitic worms in his stomach after eating raw, wild salmon from a grocery store. READ

An effective solution to the winter blues

Many of us, myself included, dread that Sunday every fall when we must turn the clocks back and sunset comes early. (I’d rather curse the darkness than light a single candle.) I miss being outdoors in the evening, walking or playing with my dogs, and I hate driving in the dark, when I don’t see as well. But these reactions are mild compared with what some people experience. For the more than 14 million Americans (an estimate extrapolated from research surveys) with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, the onset of shorter, darker days can trigger a far more serious reaction. READ

Moving to protect against Zika

Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic venues will be inspected daily during the games in a bid to prevent the spread of a mosquito-borne virus linked to a rare birth defect and also a condition that can cause paralysis, local organizers said Sunday. READ

Red Deer hospital wait times available online or with app

The estimated wait time to see an emergency room doctor at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is available with the click or tap of a button. READ

Head of Alberta Medical Association has questions about assisted suicide law

The president of the Alberta Medical Association says he is hopeful the federal government won't ask doctors to do something contrary to their ethics while they drafts laws on physician-assisted suicide. READ

Health ministers set tone for future agreements

British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake says talks between federal, provincial and territorial leaders could pave the way for future health-care agreements. READ

Palliative care in critical condition: Canadian Cancer Society report

Federal and provincial governments need to guarantee access to palliative care in legislation, the Canadian Cancer Society said Tuesday as it released a report on the state of care across the country. READ

Team of Toronto doctors perform Canada's first hand and forearm transplant

Canada's first hand transplant has been successfully performed by a team of doctors in Toronto. READ

Worker says making cancer-related terms understood in Inuit a challenge

For Annie Buchan, educating Canada’s Inuit about the dangers caused by cancer has been challenging. READ

A cold remedy that uses ingredients grown in Alberta gardens

This past couple of weeks, I have been making a traditional cold remedy called fire cider with people who are looking for alternatives to over-the-counter cold medicine. Fire cider is a remedy one makes in the fall, during harvest. All the ingredients but two (and if need be, these can be eliminated from the remedy) are grown in Alberta gardens. READ

What it takes to stay committed to your health

Real commitment doesn’t always have to be about sacrifice — or does it? When it comes to your health, where do we draw the line between having our cake and eating it, too, to avoid the self-defeating behaviour of not allowing ourselves certain indulgences? And when should we hold true to a commitment to our health and our well-being and ensure our bodies are getting the best treatment possible — no sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods? READ

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