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Communicable & Infectious Diseases

Project

Norovirus

Norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that cause short-term gastroenteritis symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and potentially chills and fever. Norovirus infection can occur by contact with a person carrying the virus, touching or using contaminated surfaces (e.g., door knobs, light switches, utensils), food or drinking water. Infections are more common in winter as...

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Floatation Tanks

Floatation or float tanks have resurged in popularity since their initial commercialization in the 1970s. These tanks, pods, or chambers are intended to help users achieve certain physical and mental benefits through the elimination (or minimization) of sensory inputs. Briefly, the user floats on his or her back in a warm, near-saturated solution of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4), which buoys the...

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Document

Fact Sheet: Non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent the transmission of influenza

This fact sheet is for public health professionals. It provides a brief overview on specific non-pharmaceutical measures to be used in community settings. Such measures can prevent the spread of influenza by interrupting the transfer of viruses from objects or people through the use of personal protective equipment or changes to behaviour. The content is primarily based on the NCCID article “Non...

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Environmental Risk Factors for Community-Acquired MRSA

Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is endemic in North America. In contrast to MRSA acquired in hospital settings, CA-MRSA is present in a wide variety of environments including health care settings outside of hospitals and animal care settings, beaches and recreational waters, athletic facilities, spas and saunas. The risk of infection from environmental...

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Surveillance for Emerging Infectious Diseases: A Canadian Perspective (UBC Bridge Program)

Surveillance approaches for emerging zoonotic infectious diseases is less well developed than for traditional clearly-defined diseases. Zoonotic diseases with recent implications in Canada include: influenza, West Nile Virus (WNV), Lyme Disease (LD), Hantavirus Pulmonary Disease (HPS), and food-borne zoonoses, with influenza having the greatest human impact. Emerging zoonotic disease (EZD)...

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One Health: A Primer (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Public health events are best dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner with many actors and agencies involved, each lending their expertise to solve the complex problem. Many examples exist of agencies working across boundaries to solve significant public health issues, but the examples are less frequent of agencies that work cross-disciplines. It is not a matter of desire, but one of tradition...

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Float Tanks: Review of Current Guidance and Considerations for Public Health Inspectors

The growing popularity of “floatation” and the ways in which this practice differs from the use of pools and spas have raised interesting questions in environmental public health. Public health agencies in the US and Canada have taken very different approaches to the classification and regulation (or non-regulation) of these facilities. Continuing engagement amongst environmental health...

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Float Tanks: Considerations for Environmental Public Health

Floatation refers to a meditative activity in which users float in a high-density Epsom salt solution in a dark, quiet environment. Because float tanks are distinct from swimming pools and other recreational water, questions have been raised regarding the need for and efficacy of various disinfection methods. Although direct evidence is lacking, pathogen kill assays and field studies from...

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Retrospective Surveillance for Drinking Water-Related Illnesses in Canada

Waterborne infections are an important cause of preventable enteric disease. This report obtained information on: characteristics of waterborne disease events (WBEs) in Canada; factors contributing to WBEs; current WBE detection and prevention practices; and, information needs of front-line public health staff. Forty-seven WBEs were identified, the majority occurring prior to 2001. Giardia and...

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Systematic Review of Surveillance Systems for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

The purpose of this review is to synthesize available evidence for public health practitioners, making decisions in the event of emerging zoonosis, by finding public health surveillance initiatives for emerging zoonosis and seeing what criteria have been used to evaluate these systems. Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) can be broadly defined as having newly appeared in a population or rapidly...

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Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Food-borne Illness?

We estimate that 3% to 16% of food-borne outbreaks investigated by public health agencies are associated with community events including church suppers, fairs, potlucks, picnics, etc. However, there is likely under-reporting of individual cases of enteric illness and of small outbreaks related to these events. Poor food handling practices at home and at the site where the food is prepared or...

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When can Point-of-Use Water Filters be used for Removal of Protozoa?

While boiling water is an effective way to kill most microbial pathogens, research performed in the United Kingdom has shown that people do not necessarily comply with boil water advisories. Similarly, in Walkerton, Ontario in 2000, only 44% of respondents reported that they were aware of the order to boil water when it was first issued on the local radio at the start of the outbreak and in...

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Workshops Presentations

Talking about ticks: Communicating into a challenging and changing environment

One of three presentations delivered as a webinar in collaboration with the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID). The two other presentations from this event (titles below) and the full webinar recording are available upon request from NCCID: Lessons learned from previous outbreaks: West Nile virus Communicating climate change: A whole Earth perspective

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Event

NCCEH eJournal Club - Water Quality Survey of Splash Pads After a Waterborne Salmonellosis Outbreak

The NCCEH eJournal Club is a series of informal hour-long sessions discussing and appraising articles relating to environmental health. Active participation is encouraged. Although these sessions are directed at public health inspectors, anyone interested in a given topic is more than welcome to take part. Remote viewing instructions are available on the Eventbrite registration page. Title of...

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BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) - 2017 Zoonoses Symposium

The Zoonotic Disease Symposium is a collaborative, interdisciplinary forum that provides an opportunity for professionals from across BC to gather, network, and learn about health issues affecting animals and humans.  The Symposium program offers a broad range of topics that are relevant to professionals from a variety of disciplines. The agenda for this event will be made available closer to...

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - Rats! Purveyors of pestilence or public health helpers?

Presenters: Kaylee Byers, Interdisciplinary doctoral student, Vancouver Rat Project researcher, and Friedman Scholar Michael Lee, SPPH doctoral student, and Vancouver Rat Project researcher

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CIPHI Ontario Seminar Series - Student Edition

This CIPHI Seminar Series will feature three student abstracts. Microbial Levels of Kibbeh Nayyeh Presenter: Mahmoud Kanaan Kibbeh Nayyeh is a raw beef ready-to-eat dish typically found in the Middle East, but also prepared and served in Canada. Under Section 33 (7) of Ontario Regulation 562:  Food Premises (1990), it is specified that all ground meat, with the exception of poultry, must be...

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Public Health Ontario - PHO Grand Rounds: The Burden of Illness of Enteric Zoonoses in Ontario

Enteric diseases are a significant contributor to the overall burden of reportable illnesses in Ontario, accounting for approximately 9,500 cases in 2011. Consumption of contaminated food and water, contact with animals and their environment, and person-to-person contact constitute important modes of transmission for enteric illnesses. In this session, we will present the overall findings of a...

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