Volume 96, Issue 1

Thursday, May 23, 2002
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Western's new athletic model brings some tiers

Western loses zoning battle:

Athletics fall was inevitable

The lovely smell of fresh sawdust is in the air

LHSC cash to boost patients' comfort

News Briefs

New Western policy, drunks not consulted

Confirmation of the obvious: students pay too much

Docs say we're not all going to die

Docs say we're not all going to die

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Despite the lingering local presence of three major diseases, London health officials say there is little reason to be concerned.

London health officials are resuming surveillance for the West Nile Virus by sending dead crows for laboratory testing, said Jim Reffle, director of environmental health services for the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

While there have been no human cases of the disease reported in Canada, health officials detected the presence of West Nile Virus in three of the 71 birds tested in the London area last year, Reffle said.

"We've just been doing surveillance work to see if there's [a] presence," Reffle said, adding the southern Ontario climate promotes mosquito breeding and thus a higher likelihood of the virus.

Despite last spring's outbreak of the serogroup C strain of meningococcal disease, health officials are no longer as concerned with the disease, said Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health for the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

"If people want to prevent disease, [they] should get vaccinated," Warshawsky said.

A new vaccine, Manjugate, is available and offers long-term protection against meningococcal diseases, Warshawsky said, noting with last year's publicly funded immunization program, patients will be responsible for vaccination costs.

Health Canada is continuing surveillance of both of these diseases, as well as whooping cough, said Paige Raymond Kovach, media relations officer for Health Canada.

A reported rise in whooping cough in the region is a result of people not getting immunized for such preventable ailments, Kovach said, pointing out that despite childhood vaccination, people must continue to receive immunizations.

"[Health Canada has] surveillance on all three diseases. We track them with help of the provinces," Kovach said.

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