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Donna Holt’s Story – “Today, I Feel Light”

March 18, 2020 was a day Donna Holt will never forget. It was the day many Canadians learned of the “lockdown,” as the federal and provincial governments attempted to deal with the rising threat of Covid-19, the new coronavirus that had been spreading across the planet. For Holt, who lives and works in the Halifax Regional Municipality of Nova Scotia, it was memorable for other reasons. Beyond learning her downtown office was shutting down, she also discovered plans with friends and family were being cancelled or changed. The world suddenly seemed a scary place. On top of that, it was the day Holt was diagnosed with shingles. “It was actually one of the lowest days of my entire life,” she recalls. “I was sitting there in the doctor’s office and there were no other people in the waiting room. The chairs were all distanced. I didn’t know where my people

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Health

Yukon moves to protect seniors from shingles virus

CanAge, Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization, is applauding a recent announcement made by the Government of Yukon that the best-in-class shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is now available to all adults aged 65-79 in pharmacies. The previous age cutoff for the vaccine was 70 and options for where to get the required 2 doses were limited and unclear, leaving many older people in the territory vulnerable to shingles—a debilitating and painful virus that can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of vision. The announcement follows a critical review of the territory’s adult immunization efforts by CanAge earlier this year, which placed Yukon among the worst performers across Canada in vaccinating seniors. “By expanding coverage and access to the recommended shingles vaccine (Shingrix), the Government of Yukon has taken a major step toward keeping seniors in the territory safe from what can be a truly excruciating viral infection with life-long effects,” says

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Health

Shake shingles away

If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you are at risk of shingles. Why? Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that occurs when varicella zoster (or the chickenpox virus) is reactivated within your body. The virus needs to already be present for you to develop this condition. Reactivation is commonly the result of stress, illness, or decreasing immunity. Shingles itself is not contagious, meaning you can’t “catch” shingles from someone who is actively experiencing it. However, a person who has never had chickenpox and is exposed to someone with an active shingles infection may develop chickenpox. Roughly 30% of all Canadians develop shingles, with most episodes occurring after the age of 50. Shingles typically presents as a painful, red, blister-like rash that affects one side of the body. If you suspect that you are experiencing an episode of shingles, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Initiation of anti-viral

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