Posted April 27, 2009
Potential for Pandemic

No confirmed cases of swine flu in Ontario

Chief Medical Officer Of Health Has Asked Health Care Professionals To Increase their Vigilance Regarding Individuals Showing Influenza-like Symptoms

TORONTO - Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says that there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Ontario.

Like other jurisdictions in Canada, Ontario became aware of this potential health issue last week. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care moved immediately to provide information to the province's medical officers of health. An Important Health Notice (IHN) was issued to the health care sector asking for extra vigilance regarding cases of severe respiratory illness with a travel history to Mexico. The IHN also provided advice on screening, lab testing and case reporting. IHNs are issued by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in response to abnormal events that require ministry direction or instruction.

The ministry will continue its surveillance efforts across the province using established public health practices and protocols. Ontario is working very closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and all provinces and territories on this issue.

"I want to emphasize that Ontario has an excellent public health surveillance system. Ontarians should feel confident that their health care providers are closely monitoring the situation and the system is in place to respond." - Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health

"Ontario is well-positioned to deal with this situation. We have a strong public health system in this province. I have the utmost confidence in the ability of public health professionals to manage any health issue that might arise." - David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

- People returning from Mexico who have symptoms of respiratory illness should contact their health care provider or call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

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