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Article

Health Care Reform

Health care reform, driven by a desire to contain costs, has become a common feature of the Canadian political landscape in the 1990s. Indeed, many believe that it has already had a significant impact on the quality of the Canadian health care system.

Article

Hearing Loss

Any person living in Canada, regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, geographic location, occupation, educational background or socio-economic status, can experience hearing loss.

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Canadian Health Worsening

Sarah Hamid considered herself a "happy-go-lucky person." A straight-A student with a loving family and a scholarship at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., she loved the campus clubs and thrived on sports.

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Alzheimer's Gene Found

Frances Hodge was only 47 when Alzheimer's disease began to destroy her brain. The first symptoms appeared in 1975, when her memory began to fail. By the early 1980s, she could no longer talk, and in 1986 she entered a nursing home, where she remained until her death four months ago.

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HIV Striking Straight Young Women

KAITLIN MORRISON LOST her virginity at 13 and, she says, "it was downhill from there." At 14, she left her parents' home in Port McNeill, B.C., on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. She was a "party girl" and a "real rebel," she says, heavy into drugs (never needles, though).

Article

West Nile Virus

West Nile VIRUS, a member of the flavivirus family, is related to the viruses that cause dengue and yellow fevers. The effects of infection with West Nile virus range from no symptoms to severe illness and even death.

Article

Cancer

Cancer is a term describing more than 100, possibly as many as 200, different diseases characterized by the common property of abnormal cell growth. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Canada and second only to accidents as a cause of death in children under 15 years of age.

Article

Smallpox in Canada

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. The disease arrived in what is now Canada with French settlers in the early 17th century. Indigenous people had no immunity to smallpox, resulting in devastating infection and death rates. In 1768, arm-to-arm inoculation became more widely practised in North America. By 1800, advances in vaccination helped control the spread of smallpox. Public health efforts also reduced rates of infection. In the 20th century, Canadian scientists helped the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox. Eradication was achieved in 1979, but virus stocks still exist for research and safety reasons.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Epidemics in Canada

An epidemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads rapidly throughout a community at a particular time. Several epidemics have occurred over the course of Canadian history, the most disastrous being those which affected Indigenous peoples following the arrival of Europeans.

Article

Influenza (Flu) in Canada

Influenza, often referred to as the flu, is a common, contagious respiratory illness. There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. While influenza A, B and C viruses can infect humans, influenza D is believed to primarily affect animals such as cattle and pigs. Influenza C is rare in comparison to influenza A and B, which are the main sources of the “seasonal flu,” or the viruses that circulate in Canada and other countries each winter. Influenza A is also the source of flu pandemics. Canada has experienced five influenza pandemics since the late 19th century, in 1890, 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. In Canada, influenza causes an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.