News Stories of Interest, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

Good morning. It’s Independence Day in Cuba (from Spain, in 1868), Double Ten Day in Taiwan (which is sort of the same thing, celebrating the foundation of the Republic of China in 1912) and Fiji Day in (of course) Fiji (celebrating independence from Britain in 1970). It’s Finnish Literature Day in – where else? – Finland. Note that there are 51 declensions in the Finnish language, so, basically, it’s pretty hard to speak and read unless you’re born to it. It’s Party Foundation Day in North Korea where, I guess, they party like it’s 1945. Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

South Health Campus and ACH prep for Ebola

Two Calgary hospitals are being readied to isolate and treat any local outbreak of the Ebola virus. Alberta Health Services staff members are busy preparing the South Health Campus and Alberta Children’s Hospital for the arrival of the deadly virus that’s already struck in the U.S. and Spain after killing nearly 4,000 people in West Africa.

More admitted to Spanish Ebola unit at nurse’s condition improves

Seven more people have been admitted to a Spanish hospital unit monitoring possible Ebola cases where nurse Teresa Romero, the first person to contract the deadly virus outside West Africa, lay ill today. A Spanish hospital official said Romero is “stable,” hours after authorities described her condition as critical.

First Ebola vaccine trail starts in West Africa

A news report says the first test of an Ebola vaccine has taken place in West Africa. And the World Health Organization says it is finalizing the paperwork to take possession of 800 or so vials of an experimental Ebola vaccine donated by the Canadian government, the Canadian Press reports.

Ebola? Don’t joke about it

Passengers got a scare Wednesday when a man on their flight sneezed and joked, "I have Ebola!” Officials in haz-mat suits escorted the man from US Airways flight 845 when it arrived in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from Philadelphia, the local NBC affiliate reports.

Canadian Ebola screening a ‘waste of time’

The CBC reports that Ebola airport screening is “mostly a waste of time.”

NDP rally calls for new Misericordia hospital

The Alberta NDP continued to paint the Edmonton-Whitemud by-election as a showdown over the province’s health-care system yesterday during a rally outside the crumbling Misericordia Hospital. About 50 supporters gathered for the lunchtime protest, where demonstrators called for a new southwest hospital to replace the aging facility. The 45-year-old hospital has been plagued by a litany of issues over the past several years, including leaks and floods, mould and fly infestations, and problems with the electrical system.

Docs try to persuade other docs to get flu shot

A group of Alberta doctors is trying to convince their colleagues to get a flu shot this year.

Study helps women with their pregnan-ZZZZZs

A researcher at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary is studying a form of therapy to help pregnant women get the restful sleep they need. As for the AHS news release writer’s headline, repeated above, we are uncertain whether this is meritoriously clever or evidence of creeping Americanization.

All teachers should get classroom keys: union-employer task force

All teachers, including supply teachers, need a set of classroom keys to keep kids safe in the event of a lockdown, say new recommendations from a task representing both elementary teachers and school administrators in Ontario.

Utility of union bashing to Tories may be decreasing

Perhaps union-bashing was once a potent button for Conservatives. Whatever ailed the economy, they could blame “big labour” – and many recession-fatigued Canadians would agree. More recently, however, the calculus of anti-unionism has changed. Union bashing may be doing more harm than good to Conservatives (both federally and provincially), economist Jim Stanford writes in the Globe and Mail.

What gives? We’re getting healthier – and more vulnerable to disease

According to a 2010 study in the Journal of American Medical Association, the rate of chronic health conditions such as asthma and learning disabilities among children more than doubled in just over a decade, from 12.8 per cent in 1994 to 26.6 per cent in 2006. Life-threatening allergies have become so common that EpiPens have become ubiquitous in schools, day care centres and summer camps. What’s going on?

AHS drops objections to full severance for Allaudin Merali

I don’t usually include my own blog in this summary, but since this report is my scoop, I thought I would today: Alberta Health Services has thrown in the towel on a key point of the legal dispute with Allaudin Merali and offered to pay its fired executive vice-president and chief financial officer the full severance agreed to in his contract.

Measles: four months later

It’s been four months since the measles outbreak in Alberta ended, but the message from Alberta Health Services remains the same — get immunized.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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