Province-wide study of H1N1 'swine' flu virus seeks students and seniors

TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP) is now recruiting Ontarians aged 18 to 29 and 65 or older from the Windsor-Essex area for its study of the H1N1 'swine' flu virus - an infection that has made thousands of people around the world sick this year.

Participants in the study will be asked to complete an online questionnaire and provide blood samples at a local laboratory. All volunteers will be given their test results. A list of participating laboratories in Windsor-Essex that will be accepting study registrants during select hours on Sept. 21 to Sept. 24 are posted on the study website.

The OAHPP province-wide study will determine risk factors for infection by the pandemic H1N1 flu virus, and will help to estimate how many people are likely to get sick from the virus in the future. This information has important implications for infection control, vaccination policies and future epidemiological research.

Having antibodies to the H1N1 'swine' flu virus may mean that a person has some protection against the virus and is less likely to become infected again.

Those who are interested can visit http://h1n1study.oahpp.ca for more information or to register.

About OAHPP:

The Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion is an arm's-length government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, OAHPP links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

OAHPP provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians. For more information about OAHPP, visit www.oahpp.ca.

SOURCE ONTARIO AGENCY FOR HEALTH PROTECTION AND PROMOTION

For further information: For further information: Helen Simeon, Director, Communications, helen.simeon@oahpp.ca, (647) 260-7246

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ONTARIO AGENCY FOR HEALTH PROTECTION AND PROMOTION

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