It's Max Seccia-Smith's first birthday today — but his parents aren't celebrating yet.Instead, they're living in what his mother describes as an agonizing fear that Max — who was born a month early — may have been exposed to measles during a visit to BC Children's Hospital on Feb. 1. The baby boy was too young for his vaccination, but was scheduled to get it later this week. Now the family is stuck in isolation at their Burnaby townhouse, hoping he's healthy. "Through the fault of parents who have decided that vaccinating their children isn't a good idea, my son is now in this pretty scary situation," said Max's mother, Stefania Seccia, 32. "So we're pretty angry about it. He's in isolation on his first birthday."Max's parents are waiting for this Saturday — the day the maximum 21-day incubation period for measles ends. The first-time mom got notified last Friday about the measles situation at BC Children's Hospital when a Fraser Health official called her home. Officials announced anyone who visited the emergency room at the hospital on Jan. 21, Jan. 23, Jan. 24 and Feb. 1 may have been exposed to a person now known to be infected with measles. Not everybody who was exposed has been notified.CBC reported Saturday that the man whose family is at the centre of the measles outbreak in Vancouver said he didn't vaccinate his children because he distrusted the science at the time."My husband and I are just completely on edge, keeping our eye out for symptoms. So far he's OK," Seccia said about Max.The family was told to keep the baby at home and avoid exposure to other people.Seccia is particularly worried because Max was born prematurely and underwent surgery as a newborn. She said that makes him more vulnerable to complications from the virus.The MMR vaccine is designed to prevent measles, mumps and rubella by helping the body make antibodies to fight off the viruses. But some people fear the vaccine and refuse to immunize their children. Health officials warn that can cause outbreaks.Nine measles cases have been reported in B.C. of late, and an outbreak of 62 cases was reported in Washington state this year.The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends children receive two doses of the vaccine: one at 12 months, and the second at five to six years of age.There is no scientific evidence linking the vaccine to autism, says the CDC.Seccia said the fact some people still believe this infuriates her, and parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are "reckless" and put her tiny son at high risk."If [Max] does contract the measles virus, he's at the highest risk of having brain inflammation, of going deaf, having brain damage or dying," she said. "This is a complete nightmare. We've done everything right."She said she had taken Max to BC Children's Hospital on Feb. 1 to deal with a minor health issue — a cold sore on his face. He had also become dehydrated and ill with what Seccia said turned out to be a stomach virus.Seccia had booked her son's MMR shot days after his first birthday, but had to cancel after this scare."That's the sick joke of it all," she said. "We can't have visitors. We can't see families or friends. We are stuck here."Seccia and her husband were both immunized as children and received another measles immunization before a trip to Vietnam in 2015. Despite this, both parents are now being retested to see if they are contagious. Max's dad may also have to miss work until his blood work comes back because his job is at a health-care facility.
When it comes to the red carpet, Alessia Cara saves the best for last. The 22-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter wowed on the Grammy red carpet in a black Self Portrait dress, but it was her after party look that stole the show. ALSO SEE: Lady Gaga sparks breakup rumours at the Grammys The star switched into a ruffled V-neck gown with purple and green detailing for the Universal Music Group’s After Party. The “Scars to Your Beautiful” songstress paired the look with a chunky black platform heel and bold hoop earrings, keeping her long brown hair in loose waves. Cara wasn’t the only star who opted for a wardrobe change – check out our gallery of stars who dazzled at the Grammy after parties! Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @ YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram . Check out Yahoo Canada’s podcast, Make It Reign — our hot takes on all things royals in a non-stuffy way — on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts .
A new Canadian analysis in The Lancet validates complaints that the awarding of research grants is biased against female scientists.The analysis found women are less likely to receive valuable research dollars if their grant applications are reviewed based on who the lead scientist is, rather that what the proposed project is.The study, titled "Are gender gaps due to evaluations of the applicant or the science?", analyzed almost 24,000 applications submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) — the federal government agency that awards approximately $1 billion in science grants annually.The study's lead author, Holly Witteman, says CIHR created "a natural experiment" when in 2014 it established two new funding streams — the Project Grant Program, which focuses on funding "ideas with the greatest potential," while the Foundation Grant Program funds "research leaders."Men and women performed similarly in Project Grants — 13.5 per cent of male applicants and 12 per cent of female applicants were successful.But under the Foundation program — 13.9 per cent of male applicants won grants, compared to only 9.2 per cent of women.The disparity is most striking in the field of public health, where female applicants outnumber male applicants, but men are twice as likely to win Foundation grants — 14.1 per cent vs 6.7 per cent.Overall, grant applications from men outnumber those by women two to one.The analysis took applicants' age and field of study into account. "This evidence is fairly robust," said Witteman, a researcher at Laval University's Faculty of Medicine in Quebec City. "When the [grant] reviewers are told to focus on evaluating the scientists … that significantly amplifies success rates for men," she said.Grant awarding system brokenNeuroscientist Jennifer Raymond said the Canadian study is another indication that the research funding "system is broken and really needs to be fixed."Raymond is a researcher at California's Stanford University and wrote a commentary which appears in the same edition of The Lancet.She said female scientists might find the CIHR analysis both discouraging and vindicating."A lot of times women internalize and say 'Oh it's me, maybe, I'm not good enough, my male colleague is getting all of these awards and attention. I need to try harder,'" she told CBC News.But Witteman's research indicates women are being passed over. "And I think this shows that the system is biased," Raymond said.Raymond has also assessed grant applications for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. equivalent of CIHR.> Getting funding can lead to more publications which can make it easier to attract good scientists to your lab, which in turn can help you do more good science and get more funding \- Jennifer Raymond"I sometimes hear comments that I wonder if they would be saying that if the applicant was a male scientist instead of a female scientist. But in any one of those cases, you can never really know what's motivating the comment. You can really only see the bias in the statistics."Funding begets more fundingGender equality has long eluded the sciences, especially at the leadership level. Raymond said funding bias plays a role in that disparity. "Small advantages over time can become big advantages. Getting funding can lead to more publications which can make it easier to attract good scientists to your lab, which in turn can help you do more good science and get more funding. So you know there's all of these different levels at which these biases play out."Raymond said she supports a "blinded" grant application process to protect female researchers from unintended bias. It's an approach increasingly adopted by recruiters and employers. When the Toronto Symphony Orchestra famously began concealing the identities of musicians during auditions in the 1980s, it transformed what was once a nearly all-male orchestra.For research scientists early in their careers, the cumulative effect of those first grants is often more opportunities down the road.Bias stalling innovationDr. Laura LaChance, a Toronto research psychiatrist and published academic who finished her residency in 2017, points out how important research is in advancing a career."Research is a major way that we're kind of measured against our colleagues in terms of how productive you are and how good of a candidate you are," said LaChance.LaChance said career advancement aside, bias against female researchers also results in "stalling innovation in clinical care."She said she also worries some frustrated women may simply quit their research efforts in frustration.Witteman, the study's author, credits CIHR for both collaborating on her gender research and taking steps to prevent further bias once the disparity in the Foundation grant program was clearly identified. In a statement, CIHR said it was committed to "systemic biases against any individual or group." The agency has developed an online course called "Unconscious Bias in Peer Review."
"As someone who has gone through an eating disorder and has healed from it, I know that loving ourselves just as we are and diving into our own inner truth is a challenging task,"
An argument after a kids hockey game in Simcoe on Sunday evening, provincial police say, quickly turned into a "brawl" involving about 30 parents. Investigators say several parents started yelling at each other after a game and that led to a brawl involving dozens of adults. "It appears they became involved in a physical confrontation," said Sanchuk.
"This was a group of parents with grit, resilience and unconditional love. I was both devastated and proud to be among them."
Brandon police are warning parents to make sure cannabis products are kept out of sight after two young children got their hands on a cannabis-infused chocolate bar.
TORONTO — Sarah McLachlan is feeling a sense of "thrill and terror in equal measures" as she prepares to step into the role of hosting this year's Juno Awards. The "Building a Mystery" singer says she's never hosted any event at all, so starting with Canada's biggest night in music will be a considerable challenge. "Up until very recently I've been terrified about public speaking," McLachlan admitted on Tuesday as the Juno nominees were revealed in Toronto. "I've had to become used to getting up in front of people... which seems ridiculous because I stand in front of thousands of people and sing and talk — but that's when I'm in my moment and playing music." McLachlan will be in good company when she takes the stage in London, Ont., on March 17. Leading the nominees is pop superstar Shawn Mendes with six nods, including for his self-titled third studio project, which is up for album of the year, and the song "In My Blood," competing for single of the year. The Pickering, Ont.-raised singer is also nominated for the Juno fan choice award, as well as artist, songwriter and pop album of the year. Hitmaker the Weeknd pulled in five nominations, most of them in top categories including album of the year, which is determined by sales and streaming figures. However, despite his massive popularity Drake was missing from the Juno nominees list again this year. His 2018 album "Scorpion" didn't receive any recognition, even though it broke streaming records with the help of viral hit "In My Feelings" last summer. Junos president Allan Reid said Drake chose not submit his work for consideration. And while the Toronto rapper could have still qualified for the fan choice and best single awards, the organizers didn't include him as he "opted not to participate." Representatives for Drake did not respond to a request for comment. Drake has chosen to skip major awards shows before. He caused a stir in the music industry after boycotting last year's Grammy Awards by not submitting anything from his previous release "More Life." He changed his mind this year for "Scorpion" and is now among the leading Grammy contenders. The CARAS organization, which runs the Junos, has struggled to win favour with Drake after he hosted the 2011 show but was shut out of all of his five nominations. Two years ago they resurrected the international achievement award after 17 years to hand it to the rapper, though he didn't show up to accept. "We would love to see him back and hopefully will someday," Reid says. Among the other highlights this year are DJ duo Loud Luxury who scored four nominations helped by their breakout hit "Body." They're contending for single of the year alongside Alessia Cara's "Growing Pains," Mendes' "In My Blood," the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar's "Pray for Me" and German-Canadian newcomer Bulow's "This is Not a Love Song." Bulow was recognized in four categories, which also included fan choice, breakthrough artist and pop album of the year. Buzzworthy Quebecois singer Hubert Lenoir proved his crossover appeal in English Canada by grabbing three Juno nominations for his concept album "Darlene." It's in the running for francophone album, pop album and the coveted best album of the year categories. Joining Lenior in the best album category is Mendes, the Weeknd for "My Dear Melancholy," Three Days Grace with "Outsider," and Jann Arden's "These Are the Days." About one third of the Juno nominees were female this year, Reid said, which is "pretty much almost the same as last year." But two closely watched categories — engineer and producer of the year — lacked a single female nominee. The Junos have faced criticism for repeatedly failing to recognize women in both fields. Five women have won the producer award in the 44 years that it's been handed out, including Diana Krall last year. The engineer prize has never gone to a woman. Reid said he recognizes the ongoing conversation around gender diversity, and pointed out the Junos saw more submissions in the production category by women, helped by outreach by organizers. "It takes time for those things to change," he said. "We don't have any gender-based categories so it's about going out, being discovered, and it was nice to see the increase in submissions." "But those eventually have to turn into nominations at some point," he added. The Juno Awards air March 17 on CBC-TV. —— Listen to a playlist of 2019 Juno Award nominees on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2DGvgyZ Follow @dfriend on Twitter. David Friend, The Canadian Press
A deadly disease carried by rodents killed 11 people in Argentina, according to a news alert from the World Health Organization (WHO).
QUEBEC — A Florida-bound flight minutes from takeoff had to be evacuated Thursday and 10 passengers were taken to hospital after fumes from de-icing seeped into the cabin. Air Transat Flight 782 destined for Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from Quebec City was at the de-icing station shortly before 11 a.m. when passengers complained of feeling faint. Airport firefighters were called and the flight was emptied, with passengers returning to the terminal. "When they started applying the product, it entered inside the plane," one passenger told reporters at the airport. Jean Lesage International Airport spokeswoman Laurianne Lapierre said 12 passengers were affected. Initial reports were that five people had been taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and sore eyes. But a spokesman for the CHU de Quebec, which oversees five hospitals in the capital region, said later that 10 people from the flight were treated at several local hospitals. Bryan Gelinas, the spokesman, said there were "no serious cases," but he declined to provide additional details on their condition. "For the moment, we are talking about a problem with the ventilation system during the de-icing of the aircraft," Lapierre said. "The airline is leading its own investigation to determine the source of the problem." She said preliminary readings by airport firefighters after the evacuation found the cabin air to be safe. In an emailed statement, an Air Transat spokeswoman said the flight crew acted diligently after some passengers "were inconvenienced" by fumes from de-icing that inadvertently entered the plane's ventilation system. "As soon as the flight crew became aware of the situation, the captain ordered all passengers off the plane while co-ordinating the deplaning with the local airport authorities," Debbie Cabana said. She added: "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this issue." Some passengers who spoke to media said the crew did not appear to immediately appreciate the seriousness of the situation. One man said the initial instructions were for passengers to gather all their belongings because there was a gas inside the plane. "Finally, they told us to speed up a bit because they realized it was poisoning everyone," he said. The aircraft was carrying 185 passengers. According to Air Transat's website, it was a Boeing 737. Originally scheduled to depart at 7:05 a.m., it was already nearly four hours late when the incident occurred. Lapierre said the airline was sending another aircraft from Toronto to transport passengers to Florida. They were scheduled to depart Quebec City Thursday evening. She was uncertain whether the hospitalized passengers would be able to make the delayed flight. "We obviously hope they can leave for Florida rapidly," she said. The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Netflix is apologizing to the people of Lac-Megantic after actual footage of the 2013 rail disaster that devastated the town was used in dramas on the streaming service. The company says it had not been aware of the source of the footage used briefly in the hit movie "Bird Box" and the series "Travelers." The images show the explosion that killed 47 people when an oil-laden train derailed in the middle of downtown. "We regret any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community and have expressed this directly to Mayor Julie Morin," the letter addressed to Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy said. Dated Monday, it is signed by Corie Wright, Netflix Inc. director of public policy. The company says it will take steps to avoid use of images from Lac-Megantic or any similar stock footage in future productions. But it says that since use of stock footage is so widespread on Netflix, it cannot make changes to "finished content." Roy wrote to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last Friday asking that the footage be removed from the dramatic productions and used only in documentaries. She said it was unacceptable to use human tragedies for entertainment purposes. Netflix has refused to remove the footage from "Bird Box," despite appeals from Roy and Morin. The producers of "Travelers" have said they are working replace the Lac-Megantic images in their show. In an emailed statement, Roy welcomed Netflix's apology and its recognition of its mistake. "However, we find it regrettable that the company is maintaining its decision not to remove the images of this tragedy from the film 'Bird Box,' when it has already accepted to do so for another of its series, which in our eyes is illogical," she said. The Canadian Press
It's time for bed, and in addition to my cosy red pyjamas decorated with hockey sticks, I'm wearing electrodes all over my body. With wires sprouting from my scalp, chest and legs, I feel more like Frankenstein than Sleeping Beauty. "Have a good night," sings out Stuart Fogel, as he shuts off the light in my austere bedroom at the Royal Ottawa Institute for Mental Health Research. Then he's off to the laboratory — where my brain waves will be documented for the next eight hours — to search for clues about how memory works. "It's hard to communicate the benefit that you can get from sleep, and the importance of sleep, when so many other things seem to be of greater importance in our daily lives," Fogel says. Researchers have known for a while that sleep is essential to how we form memories. But Fogel, a professor at the University of Ottawa's Sleep Research Laboratory, is keen to uncover exactly how our brains process and synthesize those memories. His research comes at a time when about a third of Canadian adults get less than seven hours of sleep a night on average, according to Statistics Canada. And the consequences of sleep deprivation are far more serious than feeling dozy and worn out. "What's intriguing is that sleep loss will have an impact on your ability to retain anything that you learn that's new," Fogel says. The research also aims to shed light on how sleep deprivation may contribute to a condition that's on the rise in Western societies: dementia. Sleep spindles Generally, adults spend one-third of their lives sleeping. It's only in the past few decades that scientists have begun to understand some of the reasons why. "The more we study this, the more we find how there's just so many aspects of sleep that are involved in memory processing," Fogel says. Fogel has spent several years examining the relationship between memory and "sleep spindles," the brief bursts of brain activity which occur during deep sleep. These one- to two-second electrical pulses happen up to 1,000 times a night, and can be measured on an electroencephalogram (EEG). Researchers believe these spindles show our brain taking what we learn each day and shifting it from the hippocampus, a limited space where we store recent memories, to the prefrontal cortex. That's the brain's "hard drive," where we store important memories for future reference — whether that's tomorrow, next week, or next year. Sleep effectively cleans up the hippocampus, leaving us ready to take in fresh data. "Memory centres that are recruited during learning are reactivated during sleep ... that's actually enhancing that memory trace and strengthening it, so that the next day we're better at the task," Fogel says. What does that mean for a teenager who's up all night texting, or an adult working into the wee hours? You may not learn as much. More specifically, if you sleep six hours or less you'll have fewer spindles — and that means you may not permanently retain as much of what what you experienced that day. WATCH | The National's health panel answers your questions about how to get a good night's rest: Early warning signs Fogel's current research focuses on how sleep affects newly formed motor skills, such as learning to play a musical instrument or taking a slapshot. Which explains why I'm lying in a massive MRI scanner before bedtime, madly tapping my fingers on buttons that move brightly-coloured blocks from one side of a screen to another. To demonstrate his current research, Fogel has invited me to sleep overnight at the Royal Ottawa, along with two other test subjects — Nick Vanderberg, 23, and Tom Patterson, 60. Patterson is what Fogel describes as an "optimum aging adult," a person with a good diet and no major health issues. During his working years, though, Patterson says he didn't sleep so well. Since retiring, he's rediscovered the gym, which has improved his rest. But he also finds himself forgetting stuff. "I talk about it a lot [with people my age]. Going into a room and saying, 'Hey, why did I come into this room again? What am I looking for?' That happens. It really does happen," Patterson says. Fogel is studying healthy adults for insights into how sleep affects their motor memory skills. He hopes to determine if sleep therapy could help slow the onset of dementia. "What we're hoping is that's going to give us a good sense of some important bio-markers for the early warning signs … that could be possible ways of staving off dementia, or mitigating the consequences, or perhaps finding novel treatments," Fogel says. He enlisted Vanderberg, a doctoral student, to show how differently a young brain deals with memory and sleep. In addition to the MRI scan, which allows his team to take pictures of brain activity, Fogel explains that the three of us will take a motor-skills test that involves repeatedly finger-tapping a specific sequence of numbers into a small keypad. He asks us to enter the numbers – 4 1 3 2 4 – over and over, as quickly as we can. The computer measures our speed and accuracy as we tap furiously for 10 minutes. "When you really accelerate your performance is when you actually start to chunk the numbers to make the execution of the sequence more efficient," Fogel tells us. I feel as if I'm getting faster until, by the end, my fingers are numb. Once all three of us brush our teeth and head to separate bedrooms, research assistants glue electrodes to specific spots on our bodies. The novel part of Fogel's research is the combined use of the Royal's state-of-the-art MRI and the EEG. The electrodes, along with other equipment, measure our brain traces, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, leg movements and breathing. After making sure the electrodes are on tight, it's time for us to nod off – and for Fogel to discover whether his lab rats learned anything. WATCH | A neurologist explains the impact of a good sleep on the body: The sleep boost Fogel bursts into my room at 6:30 a.m. "Good morning! Ready for your test?" I rub my eyes. I slept about eight hours, waking once to use the washroom. I recall it took a while to doze off again. I groggily sit down at the computer. I hear Patterson and Vanderberg do the same in their bedrooms. I clutch the keypad, tapping the sequence from the night before – 4 1 3 2 4. I feel faster, but I'm relieved when the student assistant tells me to stop so she can calculate our results. As we wait, Fogel shows me what the EEG measured during my sleep. "Your brain was probably pretty tired, I would say," he laughs. He traces his finger along the squiggly lines that represent my brain waves. Within minutes of hitting the pillow, I was in Stage Two, a light sleep where spindles start to occur. "You've got really nice, big spindles here ... these big bursts of activity," Fogel says, which sounds encouraging. "That indicates you're probably reprocessing that information, reactivating those memory traces, integrating them into long-term memory stores." We convene in the lab to hear the results. Patterson, the senior of the group, had a "broken and interrupted sleep." Vanderberg, the youngster, slept like a rock. The graph shows all three of us improved our finger speed when our brains began to first process the new task, but our sleep gains were a different story. The 23-year-old's fingers were even faster in the morning. Mine, too. But, as expected, the 60-year-old was tapping at the same rate as the night before. As we age, Fogel explains, we don't get the same brain boost from sleep as when we were younger. That's because sleep spindles decrease in both magnitude and frequency. "That's what we think is the important ingredient … the age-related changes in sleep are actually not allowing that reactivation and strengthening of the memory traces to take place in the same way as when you're younger," Fogel says. While much remains to be learned about how sleep could be related to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, Fogel says it's important to emphasize what scientists do know: sleep is critical for everyone to improve their intellectual and physical performance. Right now, that's a problem – Canadian adults are getting about an hour less sleep on average than in 2005, according to Statistics Canada. "Our lives are being filled with more and more information, more and more activities," Fogel says. "We really need less and less of that, in order to not compete with our time to get the sleep that we need." More from CBC WATCH | Duncan McCue's story on sleep and memory from The National:
“I firmly believe, as we head toward 2020, that we’ve really failed a different generation of social media users."
A Calgary woman received a surprising diagnosis when she wound up in the ER after vomiting 30 times in a single day.
An Alberta Health Services inspection last week found a northwest Calgary Booster Juice was using countertop cleaner to wash fruits and vegetables. On Dec. 30, inspectors found the smoothie bar in Crowfoot Crossing was using Sani-Stuff — a powerful benzalkonium chloride cleaner for sanitizing hard surfaces like countertops and equipment — to wash food. They also found that Windex and stain remover were being stored in the Sani-Stuff bottles, wheatgrass planters were being stored near ready-to-eat-fruits and veggies, and no probe thermometer was being used to ensure foods were being kept at the right temperatures. The restaurant was ordered to: * Stop using non-food-safe cleaners to wash food. * Provide a thermometer. * Store wheatgrass on a bottom shelf to prevent contamination. * And re-label bottles to identify what chemicals are inside. Sani-Stuff's website states the chemical should only be used to disinfect hard surfaces in locations like restaurants or hospitals, and that it could cause severe skin burns and eye damage and should not be inhaled. An AHS spokesperson said the Booster Juice location has complied with the orders and the inspection was the result of a tip from the public. "The amount of sanitizer that could have come into contact with food was at a very low concentration and did not present a significant health concern," reads a statement from AHS. "Booster Juice management were extremely co-operative and took immediate steps to ensure the proper use of the disinfectant at all of its locations. EPH investigates all complaints received and appreciates the public bringing forward concerns about improper food handling practices so these concerns can be properly investigated." Booster Juice said employees at the location are going through re-training and all violations will be addressed. The company said the cleaning sanitizer is diluted, and used to clean utensils as well, but never should have been used to clean fruits or vegetables even though the concentration meant it didn't pose harm to customers. "When an incident that does not uphold our brand standards is identified, we act quickly to ensure that the issue is resolved," said Booster Juice's president and CEO Dale Wishewan in an emailed statement. "We can assure consumers that this is not a company wide issue. When a location does not adhere to our strict food handling procedures by following our checklists or using the tools readily available in our stores, it is dealt with right away, as we take food handling very seriously."