Ontario Remains Vigilant On Pandemic Preparedness



    TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Dr. David Williams says that Ontario moved quickly to implement a plan to
deal with the H1N1 flu virus and is well positioned to deal with the World
Health Organization's decision to raise the pandemic alert level to Phase 6.
    Ontario's health system is guided by the Ontario Health Plan for an
Influenza Pandemic (OHPIP). Under the plan the Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care will continue:

    
    -   heightened community surveillance
    -   guidance to the health sector
    -   partial activation of the Emergency Operations Centre
    -   enhanced monitoring at local levels, and
    -   public communications.
    

    If the virus were to increase in severity, additional measures would be
undertaken in accordance with the OHPIP.
    The decision by the World Health Organization to move to Phase 6 is an
indication of sustained community spread of the virus in more than one
continental region, and not the severity of illness. Here in Ontario, the
virus continues to resemble seasonal influenza with mild symptoms in the
majority of cases.

    QUOTES

    "We have a plan in place to monitor and assess the H1N1 flu virus. We
will continue to implement that plan with our partners and agencies and to
coordinate our response activities with the Public Health Agency of Canada."
    - Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health.

    "Ontarians can be reassured that plans and resources are in place to
continue in our response to the H1N1 flu virus. I have every confidence that
our health care professionals are well prepared to deal with the virus."
    - David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus are similar to seasonal influenza
        (flu) including, chills and cough followed by fever, loss of
        appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes
        and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur in
        adults as well as in children. In more severe cases, or in people
        with chronic conditions, complications such as pneumonia may develop.
    -   People who have symptoms of respiratory illness should contact their
        health care provider or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
    -   For general information on the H1N1 flu virus, call the
        ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-800-476-9708 or visit the Ministry of
        Health and Long-Term Care website
(www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/updates/archives/hu_09/swine_flu.html).

    LEARN MORE

    For more information about H1N1 flu virus
(www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/updates/archives/hu_09/swine_flu.html).

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                                                      ontario.ca/health-news
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For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 326-3986;
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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