September 2,

Wear Silver on Sunday, August 31 for International Overdose Awareness Day

August 29, 2014 - 2014 Theme is RETHINK AND REMEMBER

This Sunday, August 31, a day known around the globe as International Overdose Awareness Day, is a day to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Wearing silver on August 31 honours the thousands of lives lost to preventable overdoses, while also acknowledging and supporting the mourning process of those friends and family members left behind.

“International Overdose Awareness Day serves to remind us of the impact of substance use in our community, specifically that overdose deaths are preventable and that the loss of any human life is a loss to our society and to a family in particular,” said Deanna VandenBroek, Health Promoter with the Substance Misuse Prevention Program at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit. “Anyone can fall victim to an overdose – your family, friends and neighbours, whether they’re using prescribed substances or experimenting.  It can happen at any age and is risk regardless if someone is a first-time or long-time user.”

Accidental overdose is a leading cause of unintentional death in Ontario – a figure comparable to traffic fatalities. Each year in Peterborough City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, an average of 16 people lose their life due to overdoses on alcohol and other drugs. Prescription opiates like fentanyl and oxycodone, for example, are increasingly the cause of these tragic and preventable overdose deaths.

A group of partner organizations involved with the Peterborough Drug Strategy have been working together to deliver an overdose prevention program in Peterborough over the last few years. It involves providing information and training on preventing an overdose and how to respond to an overdose emergency. More specifically, the training covers recognizing an overdose, calling 911, basic CPR, the rescue position and how to administer Naloxone, the antidote drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose. It does this by inducing respiratory depression, putting a person into withdrawal until an ambulance can arrive. Such efforts to provide overdose prevention training and Naloxone have been shown to save lives.

More information on overdose awareness and prevention can be found at or



For further information, please contact:

Deanna VandenBroek,
Health Promoter, Substance Misuse Prevention Program
Ph: 705-743-1000 Ext: 223



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Give Our Students the Best Start Possible: Volunteers Needed for School Breakfast Programs

August 28, 2014 - 1,350 Students Starting the School Year Without a Breakfast Program

Schools need volunteers to get their breakfast program started. Food For Kids and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit reported today that over a thousand students are at risk of not having a breakfast program this school year unless volunteers are recruited.

“At this point, a number of our 47 local schools do not have a student nutrition program coordinator, which means breakfast and snacks for 1,350 students will not be available until volunteers are in place,” said Luisa Magalhaes, Public Health Nutritionist at the Health Unit.  “This number is higher than in previous years, so we are starting our volunteer recruitment drive earlier to ensure our students get the best start possible.”

Last year, Food For Kids fed 17,434 students a total of 2,183,953 meals thanks to 1,037 volunteers who each contributed an average of an hour each week.  Research shows that students with access to a breakfast program have reduced risk for disease, are more likely to come to school and participate in class, have better test scores, and are more likely to graduate. 

“Universal student nutrition programs are incredibly important for our children and community, because regardless of need, every student has access to good food to start off their day,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health.  “Not only do our students learn better, which sets them up for success in their future, but the volunteers also benefit from their connection to such a worthy cause.  We couldn’t do this without them, and I am extremely grateful for their dedication.”

Schools currently in need of breakfast program coordinators include:

  • Adam Scott Intermediate, Peterborough
  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary School, Peterborough
  • Kawartha Heights Public School, Peterborough
  • St. Paul Catholic Elementary School, Lakefield
  • Warsaw Public School, Warsaw

In addition to program coordinators, volunteers are needed at most schools to help with shopping, preparing and serving food, record keeping and communicating with families, students, staff and volunteers.

Food for Kids Peterborough and County, a community partnership, has supported Breakfast Programs in local elementary and secondary schools for over 20 years. Programs are partially funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, and Breakfast for Learning through their local charitable partner, the Peterborough Family Resource Centre, as well as from generous donations from the community. Dedicated volunteers provide healthy breakfasts and help to ensure that all students are able to attend classes well-nourished and ready to learn to their full potential.

To sign up to volunteer, make a donation, or for more information about Food For Kids, please visit or call 705-743-1000, ext. 233.



For further information, please contact:


Luisa Magalhaes, MHSc, RD                                                       Chris McCarthy

Public Health Nutritionist                                                            Student Nutrition Program Coordinator

Peterborough County-City Health Unit                                    Food For Kids Peterborough and County

705-743-1000, ext. 233                                                                                                                     

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Boil Water Advisory Lifted for Millbrook Residents

August 25, 2014  - The Peterborough County-City Health Unit has lifted the boil water advisory issued for Millbrook residents on Friday, August 22.

The Health Unit received two sets of sampling results within 24 hours indicating zero total coliforms and zero E.coli in the Millbrook municipal water system.

The residents of Millbrook can return to use their municipal water for drinking water, food preparation and personal use.

Anyone concerned about their health can speak with a public health inspector at 705-743-1000.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391


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Boil Water Advisory Issued for Millbrook Residents

August 22, 2014 – The Peterborough County-City Health Unit is issuing a boil water advisory for the residents of Millbrook who use the municipal water system.

Residents should bring water to a rolling boil for at least a minute before using it for things such as drinking, cooking or brushing teeth.

This precaution should be taken until further notice.

This advisory is being made following the loss of pressure in the water system due to a broken water main. Under such conditions, there is a risk of water being siphoned or back-flowed into the distribution system through inappropriate household connections such as hoses in laundry tubs.

Once the Health Unit is satisfied with the water sample results, the public will be notified.

For more information on safe water, visit the section called “My Home & Environment”  and “click on “Water”.

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Blue-Green Algae: Know the Risks and How to Protect Yourself

August 20, 2014 - The Peterborough County-City Health Unit is advising local residents to protect themselves from blue-green algae which may bloom on area lakes.

The Health Unit with the assistance of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is monitoring lakes in Peterborough County and City area. To date, no reports have been received of the presence or confirmation of blue-green algae this season.

“Residents should visit the Health Unit’s website or call us for information about what to look for before swimming or consuming water if they suspect a bloom in their area,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Inspection Services Programs at the Health Unit. “Just as we’ve all learned how to avoid poison ivy and sunburns, it’s important to know how to protect ourselves from blue-green algae so everyone can still safely enjoy the outdoors.”

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria, called cyanobacteria that are known for rapidly reproducing and collecting to form large, highly visible blooms throughout the water column, on the surface of water as a scum, or on the lake bottom as a mat.  These blooms are not only unsightly and smelly: some species of cyanobacteria can also release poisons, called cyanobacterial toxins, when the cells that make up the bloom rupture or die.

To report a blue-green algae bloom, residents are advised to contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change at 1-800-268-6060

The risk to humans is primarily from drinking water that has been contaminated with toxins from a dense algae bloom.  Fortunately, there have been no human deaths attributed to drinking water containing cyanobacterial toxins, but the toxins may cause headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Long-term consumption of water containing high levels of cyanobacterial toxins may cause neurological or liver problems.  If allowed, farm animals and pets may consume large quantities of heavily contaminated water, resulting in sickness or death.

Some individuals are sensitive to blue-green algae, and may develop a mild skin rash or eye irritation even if there is no toxin produced by the bloom.  Some individuals will have no reaction.

For more information on blue-green algae, and precautions to be taken before swimming in or consuming water where there has been an algae bloom, go to, click on “My Home & Environment” and visit the webpage dedicated to blue-green algae.



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391


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