Dr. Mitch Shulman

Public Health

As CJAD AM 800’s medical consultant, Dr. Mitch Shulman has developed a large following of listeners and now readers who trust his down-to earth and extremely informative medical advice.

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With the accelerated roll out of the vaccine and the very realistic prospect that most Quebecers over the age of 18 will receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by June 24, the future looks better than it has for a long time. What can we expect over the next while?

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released modified guidelines for how to keep surfaces clean to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Fomite” is an inanimate object that can transmit disease. Based on experience with other viruses as well as lab experiments, there is a…

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The virus that causes COVID-19 inflames blood vessels and therefore increases the risk of blood clots forming. The result, an increased risk from COVID-19 of heart attacks, strokes (death of a part of the brain because the blood supply has been cut off by the clot) and pulmonary emboli (clot…

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The Covid-19 variants are spreading throughout Quebec, including the South African variant (B1.351) which is more widespread in this province than anywhere else in Canada. In spite of this, high schools have been told to fully reopen with hardly any time to prepare. The vaccination program i…

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So much has changed over the past year. We now know for certain that the virus causing COVID-19 originated in bats. The following very plausible scenario has been proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Wildlife farms — which were being promoted by the Chinese government so that loc…

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There has been a lot of progress on the vaccine front. The first two vaccines to be approved in Canada were based on a brand new technology. MRNA is used by the body’s cells as a blueprint to make the spike protein that sits on the surface of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That foreig…

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A case report recently published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association reminds us how important Vitamin D is to our health. In this case, a woman after a normal pregnancy and full term delivery had an otherwise normal looking baby whose bones had failed to fully solidify in his …

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Is colchicine, a drug that has been around since 1500 BC, a cure for COVID-19? Unfortunately, no. Maybe it will have a role to play in keeping people with the disease from needing to be hospitalized, but don’t count on it yet.

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The question is simple: one dose or two? The answer is also simple: if we had enough doses of the vaccines the most appropriate (emphasis deliberate) way to vaccinate everyone would be by giving it exactly as mandated by Health Canada. That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to protect the community.

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With winter’s start we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases of COVID-19. There are a number of causes but one that you might not have been aware of is being outdoors in the cold. Whereas being outdoors during the spring and summer helped lower the number of cases, the opposite …

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This has been one tough year, no denying that. But I would like to end it on a positive note and so I’ve listed what I feel were some of the most significant medical highlights of 2020 —in no specific order.

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It can be tough to control your weight. Being shut in because of COVID-19 has not made it any easier. In fact, many people have packed on extra pounds due to a combination of being less active; having less access to their usual gym or recreational sports activities; and stress eating.

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It can be tough to cope with everything that’s happening. On top of dealing with the reasonable worries about staying safe and protecting your loved ones from becoming ill, there’s a constant stream of changing recommendations, restrictions, and timelines. All this can really tie you up in k…

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Phase 3 data has been announced on four vaccines against COVID-19. How to choose? Having a choice is great. Every year when the flu vaccine is released, there are actually a number available with some significant differences between them. The provincial governments decide which one(s) they w…

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The latest news on the vaccine front is very encouraging. As expected, we’re starting to see the preliminary results of the Phase 3 research trials. New medications and vaccines go through certain steps before they are submitted for approval by the regulatory authorities.

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There has been a lot of conflicting information about how COVID-19 spreads. Let’s clear the air. There are four coronaviruses that cause the “common cold”. They spread more in the winter because of the cool, dry air and the fact that people are indoors with reduced ventilation. The virus tha…

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There seems to be a lot of confusion about the role of a lockdown in controlling the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Locking down a community is a last gasp response to a failure of the basic measures that would normally control an epidemic. No one wants a lockdown.

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A potentially dangerous document is currently making the rounds on social media and in the news. Called the “Great Barrington Declaration”, it is a relatively short statement from the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian think-tank based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts …

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The messaging around our current situation could be really depressing. We went from yellow to orange to red. The government probably already knew that we were going in that direction but by doing it this way they haven’t helped us to ease into the new situation; what they’ve done is discoura…

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It struck like a blow to the gut. From green to orange in a heartbeat! Many of us have made sacrifices to keep the virus that causes COVID-19 at bay. We limited our social gatherings; wore our mask properly; washed our hands; and maintained a distance of at least two meters from those we lov…

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Currently, we wear a mask to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 found in droplets that are expelled from our noses and mouths when we cough, sneeze, sing or talk loudly. English may be a particularly bad language for droplet production and thus the spread of COVID-19 as we h…

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As if it wasn’t enough that you could get sick once with the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness, now there are well documented reports of at least three cases of someone who had the disease, had recovered and now got it a second time. How worried should we be?

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Sending your child back to school in this current environment is one of the most difficult decisions for parents to make. We know how important school is for our children. The academics are essential but so are the social interactions, which are pivotal for normal mental and psychological de…

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To protect yourself from the virus that causes COVID-19, do you need to wear goggles or a face shield? The simple answer is no. It does help to shield you but it is not necessary unless you will be exposed to a lot of people, like a server in a restaurant.

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Social distancing, hand washing and mask use have saved thousands of Canadian lives. Wearing a mask is a key component to what has worked. It protects us in two ways.

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Let’s dispel some myths about theCOVID-19 disease. As the summer progresses and people get tired of the restrictions and the mask-wearing, the risk is that we will have more and more outbreaks like the recent one on the South Shore. Sixty people gathering at a party and then continuing their…

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The numbers being reported in the United States are terrifying. More and more states are reporting a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infected people and the number of deaths. As I write this, the number of documented COVID-19 deaths in the USA has exceeded 130,000 — whi…

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As if there wasn’t already enough to deal with, our emergency rooms are back to the overcapacity situation that they had been in pre-pandemic. The daily number of new patients coming to be seen in our emergency rooms is lower than they were back in January and early February, but the hospita…

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As we move to our new normal, one of the ways of monitoring the situation and screening will be to take your temperature. Here’s what you need to know: While not everyone who is infected with the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness will have a fever, it’s a reasonable and easy symptom to …

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There is light at the end of the tunnel — and I don‘t think it‘s a freight training coming at us. A drug has received approval from the FDA for use in patients who are extremely ill with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 illness. It‘s a slight improvement over placebo but it‘s de…