Ministry of Health Ministère de la Santé and Long-Term Care et des Soins de longue durée
Chief Medical Officer of Health Médecin hygiéniste en chef Public Health Division Division de la santé publique 11th Floor, Hepburn Block Édifice Hepburn, 11e étage Queen’s Park Queen’s Park Toronto ON M7A 1R3 Toronto ON M7A 1R3 Telephone: (416) 212-3831 Téléphone: (416) 212-3831 Facsimile: (416) 325-8412 Télécopieur: (416) 325-8412 MEMORANDUM TO : Health Sector Partners RE: Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China
Dear Colleagues, On April 1, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that individuals in China had been infected with influenza A(H7N9). Influenza A(H7N9) viruses normally circulate among birds. Human infections with avian influenza are rare but have occurred in the past, most commonly after exposure to infected poultry. This is the first time that this avian influenza A subtype (H7N9) has been found in humans. There is no vaccine currently available for this subtype of influenza virus. Preliminary test results provided by the WHO Collaborating Centre in China suggest that the virus is susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors (i.e., oseltamivir and zanamivir). To date, no cases of human infection with the H7N9 virus have been identified outside of China. The risk posed to Ontarians by this virus is considered low at this time based on the lack of confirmed human-to-human transmission and the geographic distribution of illness detection. Although the risk is low, health care providers should consider the possibility of novel influenza A(H7N9) virus infection in persons with respiratory illness that meet the exposure criteria, such as recent travel to China. Attached is the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (ministry) guidance document on influenza A(H7N9) for health workers and health sector employers with information on what to be on the lookout for, laboratory testing and treatment recommendations, and appropriate occupational health & safety and infection prevention & control measures. This document will be posted on the ministry website once the translation has been completed. We will provide you with an update on the status of its posting during the health sector partner teleconferences that have been arranged for Monday, April 15th, 2013.
There are a number of resources that health workers and health sector employers can turn to for more information on the influenza A(H7N9) virus: World Health Organization’ Public Health Agency of Canada’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ Nature’s summary of
Please disseminate this memo and the attached guidance document to your members, employees and/or health partners. by Regards, Original signed by
Arlene King, MD, MHSc, FRCPC Chief Medical Officer of Health
Swine Flu H1N1 What is swine flu? • Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by Type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. • Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person- to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people. Is the current swine flu virus contagious? �