The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of one human illness, the CDC announced on Jun 20. The infection had already been found in birds, horses, and mosquitoes in 14 states this year. Authorities recommended that people limit mosquito exposure by using insect repellents and emptying any standing water where mosquitoes might lay eggs. About 1 out of 150 infected people experiences the most severe form, West Nile meningitis or encephalitis, which can sometimes be fatal. West Nile fever is less severe and doesn’t involve neurological signs. States are not required to report West Nile fever cases to the CDC. Jun 22, 2005 (CIDRAP News) West Nile virus has made its US debut in the heartland this year, with Kansas reporting the first human case. CDC’s West Nile virus sitehttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm To aid prevention, the CDC recently expanded its list of approved insect repellents by adding picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus to DEET and permethrin. People should use repellents consistently, because once WNV is endemic in an area, surges in infection rates are unpredictable, the CDC said. “This season’s first human case of West Nile virus reminds us of the importance of taking precautions to avoid becoming ill,” Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Vectorborne Infectious Disease Division, said in a news release. “It’s impossible to predict what this year’s season will hold. So everyone who spends time outdoors should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites and West Nile virus.” See also: A 51-year-old from Douglas County, Kan., became ill in mid-May, the KDHE announced. The case was not neuroinvasive. The first human cases of WNV infection in 2004 occurred in New Mexico and Arizona in the last week of May. WNV is spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. It was first identified in the United States in 1999 in New York. Human cases have now been found in each of the 48 contiguous states except Washington. About 17,000 Americans have contracted West Nile virus to date, the CDC said. The disease varies in severity. Most healthy people who are infected experience no illness or only a mild illness. About 20% of those infected show symptoms, typically 3 to 15 days after the mosquito bite, according to the KDHE.
Highlights from the news file for Monday, May 29———POPE OPEN TO RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS APOLOGY, PM SAYS: Canadians are anxious to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples, Justin Trudeau described telling Pope Francis on Monday as he asked the pontiff to apologize for the role the Catholic Church played in the tragedy of residential schools. The Pope — himself no stranger to the cause of social justice, he noted to Trudeau — seemed open to the idea, the prime minister said as he related the broad strokes of their private conversation at the Vatican. “He reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world,” Trudeau said after he arrived back in Rome. Pope Francis also expressed his enthusiasm for working with the prime minister and the Canadian bishops on finding a way forward on the issue of an apology, as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission included the demand for a papal apology — to survivors, their families and communities — as one of the 94 recommendations in its report on the dark 120-year history and tragic legacy of residential schools.———SCHEER GETS HERO’S WELCOME FROM TORY CAUCUS: New Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is basking in a hero’s welcome on Parliament Hill. The Saskatchewan member of Parliament was feted by his fellow MPs and leadership rivals alike as he arrived Monday to address the Tory caucus, fresh off a thrilling final-ballot win in the party’s leadership contest on the weekend. He called the role a great honour, but an even greater responsibility. Scheer touched on all of the same themes he delivered following Saturday night’s win, hailing the efforts of the other 12 candidates who sought the job and singling out Quebec MP Maxime Bernier in particular. Bernier was the presumptive front-runner throughout the race and the leader throughout Saturday night’s nail-biting process of elimination, right up until the last ballot. He did not stop to speak to reporters prior to Monday’s meeting. Scheer did have significant support among other elected MPs going into the campaign, about two dozen by the end of it. Many of the rest had backed fellow MP Erin O’Toole.———NDP LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE PREGNANT: NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton says she is expecting a baby in November. Ashton, a Manitoba MP, is one of six candidates seeking the party’s top job. The leadership race is scheduled to wrap up in October, when rank-and-file members pick a successor to Tom Mulcair. Ashton says she plans to carry on her work, adding she will continue to reach out to party members, activists and progressives across Canada. She says she intends to visit B.C. and the Atlantic provinces in the next two weeks. Ashton’s rivals in the race include Quebec MP Guy Caron, Ontario legislature member Jagmeet Singh, Ontario MP Charlie Angus, former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran and B.C. MP Peter Julian.———SACRED FIRE LIT TO LAUNCH MISSING WOMEN INQUIRY: A sacred fire ceremony in Whitehorse has marked the first family hearings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. About 30 people gathered in a circle at sunrise for traditional prayers and songs as the fire was lit this morning. It will burn until the hearings conclude in Whitehorse later this week. Forty families are registered to testify before the commissioners in both public and private hearings between Tuesday and Thursday. Commissioners will be examining and reporting on the causes of violence against indigenous females by scrutinizing practices, policies and institutions, including policing and child welfare. Yukon minister responsible for the women’s directorate, Jeanie Dendys, says 41 indigenous women have disappeared or been killed in the territory over several decades. Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston says he’s pleased the families of missing and murdered women in the territory finally have a chance to present their stories and share their challenges.———CANADIANS WEIGH IN ON PLANNED ACCESSIBILITY LAW: Public consultations on Canada’s first national law for disabled people have identified high unemployment rates, inaccessible buildings and barriers in transportation as some of the key issues that need to be addressed. The priorities were laid out in a report, released by the federal government Monday, summarizing eight months of consultations held with Canadians from coast to coast. It says participants wanted to see laws that would help lower stubbornly high unemployment rates for those with disabilities, reduce the number of buildings inaccessible to those with physical and intellectual disabilities, and remove accessibility barriers for the country’s air, rail, ferry and bus transportation systems. The report also says Canadians have voiced a strong preference for the government to set up an independent body to oversee compliance with the new laws, which are expected to come before the House of Commons in early 2018.———GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES FAMINE RELIEF FUND: Aid agencies are urging Canadians to respond generously to the federal government’s matching fund for famine relief in Africa and the Middle East, calling it a response to the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. The Liberal government said Monday it would match donations made by Canadians to registered charities to create a famine relief fund for more than 20 million men, women and children who are at risk of starvation. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the fund would support Canadian and international organizations working to provide assistance in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen and neighbouring regions. Bibeau said the government’s window to match donations is from March 17 to June 30. Millions of people in the four affected countries and neighbouring regions are in need of necessities including water, sanitation services, shelter and urgent food assistance, Bibeau added.———JUDGE BANS ABORTION PROTESTS AT NEW BRUNSWICK HOSPITAL: As provinces across Canada move to establish protest-free “buffer zones” around abortion providers, a judge has banned anti-abortion activists from demonstrating outside a hospital in northern New Brunswick. Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Reginald Leger granted a permanent injunction against protesters outside the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst. The anti-abortion picketers, affiliated with the 40 Days for Life campaign, put the safety of patients and employees at risk, Leger said in his recent decision. The ruling comes amid efforts across the country to strike a balance between the constitutional right to free expression and ensuring safe access to health-care services without harassment or intimidation. Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said Monday he plans to introduce legislation that would create safe zones outside abortion clinics in that province, citing reports of harassment at an Ottawa clinic. The Newfoundland and Labrador government introduced a law last November, modelled after British Columbia’s Access to Abortion Services Act, to keep protesters at least 50 metres away from an abortion clinic.———FILINGS SHED LIGHT ON BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE: Boeing says its trade complaint against Bombardier is designed to prevent the Montreal-based rival from using subsidies to build a larger version of the CSeries plane that would directly compete with its own flagship narrowbody 737 aircraft. Last week, Boeing filed a document with the U.S. International Trade Commission that sheds new light on the tit-for-tat dispute between the two aerospace manufacturers. In the 109-page filing, Boeing said Bombardier would be positioned to build a full-fleet of single-aisle planes — repeating a strategy employed by French aerospace company Airbus — if Canadian subsidies to Bombardier are left unaddressed. Bombardier said in a separate filing that Boeing’s effort to shut down its innovative technology from the market is “misguided,” adding that the complaint is tantamount to asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to imagine a hypothetical world in the future.———QUEBEC TABLES BACK-TO-WORK CONSTRUCTION BILL: The Quebec government tabled a bill Monday forcing the province’s striking construction workers back on the job by Wednesday. In response, a coalition of construction unions promised to contest the bill in court, saying the legislation favours construction companies. Thousands of workers gathered in front of Quebec’s legislature earlier Monday to voice their disapproval of the government’s decision to end their strike after five days. The back-to-work bill maintains current working conditions for the province’s 175,000 construction workers and grants them a pay raise of 1.8 per cent. It also opens an immediate five-month mediation period after which the unions and construction companies will be required to enter into arbitration. Members of the legislature are expected to debate the bill late into the night but the Liberal majority in the legislature will ensure it passes. Quebec Labour Minister Dominique Vien said before tabling her bill that both sides had months to negotiate a new agreement and added that every strike day costs the Quebec economy $45 million.———ONTARIO TAXPAYERS FOOT $120K BILL FOR GIANT DUCK: An Ontario government grant of about $120,000 that is going toward a giant rubber duck for Canada 150 celebrations is ruffling some feathers. The 18.6-metre, 13,600-kilogram yellow duck is being brought to Toronto by the Redpath Waterfront Festival, reportedly at a total cost of $200,000, combining other funding. It’s being billed as a tourist attraction — with particular Instagram and selfie appeal — and will also be taken to other communities in Ontario. Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives say they’re unclear on the giant duck’s connection to Canada’s heritage celebrations and call it a waste of taxpayer money. Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon says the province has been funding the waterfront festival for the past three years and it does a good job promoting tourism. She cautions against focusing too much on the duck, adding she thinks it is much ado about nothing.
MONTREAL – Francois Legault tried to divert attention from his immigration policies Tuesday, as a report from a research institute undercut his campaign rhetoric on newcomers and two new polls placed his Coalition Avenir Quebec in a virtual tie with the Liberals.Following Monday night’s English-language debate in which he was attacked for wanting to expel immigrants who fail to pass a values and French-language test, Legault came out hard against Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard.The Liberals can’t defend their record on education and health care, Legault told reporters on Day 27 of the 39-day campaign. Furthermore, the Coalition leader brought back a thus far under-used weapon against Couillard: corruption allegations.“(Couillard) is trying to run a fear campaign,” Legault said south of Montreal. “He doesn’t want to talk about the investigation into corruption in his party.”Corruption scandals have dogged Couillard’s government since he won the 2014 election, primarily involving alleged misdeeds committed by the previous Liberal government under his predecessor, Jean Charest.Le Journal de Montreal reported in June that investigators with Quebec’s anti-corruption unit had grown frustrated with the length of probes into the Liberals and lamented how arrests of former party fundraisers had been postponed.Immigration-related matters aren’t the only issue voters should be thinking about ahead of the Oct. 1 election, Legault said.“Quebecers need to take everything into account when they go to vote,” he said. “Don’t forget the past 15 years (of Liberal rule).”Couillard, speaking to reporters after delivering a speech to the Montreal Board of Trade, dismissed the allegations he was running on fear.“I’m the one making people afraid?” Couillard asked rhetorically. “I think the people who are afraid are those would be subjected to a (French-language) test and then expulsion.”The Liberal leader reiterated his past comments about the Coalition leader, some of which he used during Monday’s debate.“Legault doesn’t talk about immigrants in a positive light,” Couillard said. “But these people help Quebec.”Earlier on Tuesday, a Montreal-based research institute released a report revealing immigrants are having an easier time finding work and more of them are choosing to remain in the province.The study said the unemployment rate for immigrants between the ages of 25 and 54 has declined dramatically since January, from 8.1 per cent to six per cent in August, and that 84 per cent of newcomers who arrived in Quebec in 2010 were still in the province by 2015.Legault has often stated an older statistic indicating one-quarter of immigrants who arrive to Quebec eventually leave the province.The study also revealed, however, immigrants who have arrived in the province in the past five years and who are between 25 and 54 are having a more difficult time finding work, as their unemployment rate is at a stubborn 14 per cent, compared to 9.3 per cent in Ontario.Also on Tuesday, two polls were released that indicated the Coalition’s support was tending downward.Mainstreet Research released a poll conducted Sept. 14-15 that surveyed 1,665 Quebecers, indicating the Coalition was at 29.1 per cent and the Liberals at 28.6 per cent.The Parti Quebecois came in third at 21.5 per cent and Quebec solidaire had 17.1 per cent in the poll, which had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.A new Leger poll that surveyed 3,017 Quebecers between Sept. 14-17 who participated in the company’s online panel, put the Coalition at 31 per cent and the Liberals at 30 per cent. The PQ finished with 21 per cent and Quebec solidaire at 14 per cent.Tuesday was a difficult day for Legault.He was incapable of naming the only Canadian province that is officially bilingual.After he tried to avoid answering, he told reporters, “I’ll take that (question) into deliberation.”A reporter then told him the correct answer: New Brunswick.Earlier on Tuesday, PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee reiterated his party’s position on immigration, saying only those who already speak French should be admitted into the province.He said it is possible to fill job vacancies across Quebec and at the same time ensure newcomers speak French.There are 270 million people around the world who speak French, he said east of Montreal.“It’s possible to find tens of thousands of those people per year to come here.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story; a previous version said the study was conducted by Quebec’s statistics bureau