May 26,

Tick Talk: Be Aware of Lyme Disease

May 17, 2016 –  The Peterborough County-City Health is asking local residents to be aware of Lyme disease and how to prevent it.

Lyme disease is a potentially serious illness and growing health threat across Ontario.  It is the most common disease spread by ticks in Canada, caused by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. While not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of infected blacklegged ticks are spreading due to climate change. This means the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada.

“Locally we are closely monitoring for evidence of infected ticks in our area, so we encourage residents to check for ticks on their bodies and bring them to the third floor of the Health Unit for identification,” explained Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs.  “Ticks can be as small as a sesame seed and their bites are usually painless, so it’s important to be on the lookout for ticks and the symptoms of Lyme disease.”

Jain explained that if you do locate a tick on your body, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull the tick straight out.  Save the tick in an empty screw-top bottle or zipper-closed bag and take it to the Peterborough County-City Health Unit located at 185 King St., Peterborough. The tick will then be sent away to a public health laboratory for identification.

Lyme is gaining the attention of health officials because of an increase in Lyme disease cases acquired within Ontario.  Public Health Ontario reported 220 confirmed and probable human cases of Lyme disease in 2014.  With the majority of occurring occurred from May to October, with June, July and August accounting for more than two-thirds of cases.

The signs of Lyme disease can be categorized in three stages. However, the first sign is usually a circular rash in the shape of a bull’s eye. Other additional symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. For more details on precautions and symptoms of Lyme disease, please visit www.pcchu.ca click on “My Home & Environment” and go to “Lyme Disease.”

What to do if you find a tick:

When bringing a tick to the Health Unit, please be aware that only ticks found on humans will be submitted for identification and testing.  Any ticks found on pets or other animals should be taken to a veterinarian. Once a tick has been removed from a person’s body, we ask that you place the tick in sealed container or Ziploc bag and bring it into the Health Unit as soon as you can.

When submitting a tick you will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name (including middle initial) and date of birth of the person to whom the tick was attached;
  • Location on the body where the tick was found;
  • Approximate length of time the tick was attached;
  • Where the tick was acquired, along with recent travel history;
  • Record of any symptoms; and
  • Healthcare provider’s name and city of practice.

A tick can be submitted to the Health Unit Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information on tick submission or general inquires about ticks please contact the Vector Borne Disease Program at the Health Unit at 705-743-1000, ext. 240.

Lyme Disease info

 

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Local Hepatitis A Case Linked to National Outbreak

May 12, 2016 – Residents Advised to Watch for Symptoms

Today, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit reported a laboratory-confirmed case of hepatitis A in an individual within its service area who had consumed the recently recalled frozen fruit product: Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend.

“Laboratory testing has confirmed that this case is part of the national outbreak,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs. “The virus strain matches the strain found in other individuals in this outbreak.”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall warning on April 15, 2016, for Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen fruit product sold between December 11, 2015, and April 15, 2016, at any Costco location in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, due to possible hepatitis A contamination. People are reminded not to consume the recalled berries, and if they have been consumed, to seek health advice.

Individuals who have served recalled product to others including patrons of food premises, family, friends and colleagues are also encouraged to communicate this potential exposure to the Health Unit or with these individuals directly.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The disease is usually mild in children, but can be more serious in adults. Symptoms of Hepatitis A can include fever, aches and pains, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, skin rash, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).  Hepatitis A is found in the feces of infected people. It is spread from person to person through unwashed hands.  It is also spread by eating food and drinking water or other liquids that have been contaminated with the hepatitis A virus. Most people infected with the virus get better on their own.  There is a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent the spread of hepatitis A, and proper handwashing and infection control measures are also important to protect yourself and others.

For more information, please contact the Health Unit at 705-743-1000, ext. 306, or speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

 

 

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Help Young Athletes Perform Their Best with Tips from a Registered Dietitian

May 10, 2016 – The start of summer sports often has parents of active kids asking about proper hydration and sport nutrition.

“For light to moderate activities lasting 90 minutes or less, or high-intensity activities of an hour or less, water is the best choice for everyone, especially young children,” says Luisa Magalhaes, registered dietitian with Peterborough County-City Health Unit.

It is important to drink fluids before the activity to prevent dehydration, muscle cramp, and fatigue.

“Sometimes it can be tough to get kids to drink water.  Try adding a handful of frozen berries, a slice of orange, cucumber or fresh mint to the water to give flavour without any added sugar,” says Magalhaes. “Offer vegetables and fruit high in water before and after the activity. Cucumber, celery, watermelon, oranges and grapes are great choices.”

Magalhaes recommends that children and recreational athletes of any age avoid sports drinks.

“Kids playing a one-hour soccer or hockey game, or a 90-minute baseball game do not need a sports drink.  In this case, a sports drink only adds extra sugar to the diet and does not impact performance.”  She notes that to maintain energy levels, a small healthy snack and water before the event will have the same effect as a sports drink. “Fruit juice or fruit beverages, pop, energy drinks and caffeinated drinks, including iced tea, are all high in sugar. They are harder to absorb and can cause an upset stomach during the activity.”

Healthy meals and snacks fuel our athletes.  Their timing can affect how children enjoy and perform in sports. Magalhaes recommends that meals include foods from all four food groups, and that snacks include foods from at least two food groups.  Carbohydrates such as grains, vegetables, fruit, milk and yogurt give athletes energy.  Milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, eggs, nuts, fish, and beans give children protein to build and repair their muscles.

Magalhaes suggests feeding active children in the following ways:

(1) Pre-Game: Three hours before an activity, children should eat a larger meal.  If time is tight, eat a meal 2 hours beforehand, with less food from each food group, or grab a healthy snack an hour before the game or practice. Avoid fried foods.  These are difficult to digest and can leave a player feeling sluggish.  Healthy choices include cereal with fruit and milk, vegetables, pita wedges and hummus, cheese and bagel, and a fruit and yogurt smoothie.

(2) Mid-Game: Most children in sports do not need a snack during a game or practice. Kids should arrive with enough stored energy to get them through the activity.  Athletes need fluids during the game.  Offer water.  If you do offer a snack, give vegetables and fruit high in water.  Sugary and/or fatty foods, like freezies, popsicles, doughnuts and cookies are not suitable choices.

(3) Post-Game: Within 30 minutes after the activity, drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy meal or snack to reload energy. Offer water, white or chocolate milk, or 100% fruit juice. Snacks can include whole grain crackers with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, and trail mix made with cereal, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

For credible nutrition information for you and your family, or for more details on sports nutrition, talk to a registered dietitian for free.  Call 1-877-510-5102 or visit www.EatRightOntario.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Luisa Magalhaes, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233

 

 

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What’s One Thing You Can Do to Improve Public Health?

May 9, 2016 – Take the Census on May 10!

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, our local Medical Officer of Health, is encouraging residents from the County and City of Peterborough to take the census on May 10, Canada’s official census day.

“Census data is so important because it gives us valuable information about the factors that affect health from a population perspective, such as housing, income and education levels,” explained Dr. Salvaterra.  “Our local response rate for the last census was the lowest in the country so we are appealing to residents this time to make sure they complete it to help us better plan public health programs and services.”

She notes that municipalities, businesses and healthcare agencies depend on the information from the census.

The census collects demographic information on every person living in Canada.  Reliable census rates help to understand local housing needs, and local officials particularly need good data to better plan affordable housing, a key determinant of health.  The information from data also helps to improve medical research, healthcare and the well-being of all Canadians.

Here are some things to remember about 2016 Census.

(1) Census Day is May 10, complete the census form as soon as you receive it.

(2) The census is available online. You can still order a paper version by calling 1-855-699-2016.

(3) The census is available in 11 Aboriginal languages.

For more information about the census call 2016 Census at 1-855-700-2016 or visit www.census.gc.ca

 

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

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May 4 BOH Meeting Summary

May 6, 2016 – To view the meeting summary from the May 4 Board of Health Meeting click the image below

Screen Shot 05-06-16 at 01.06 PM

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