Outbreaks in Effect
The Health Unit reminds the public they can prevent getting and spreading infections by:
- Getting a seasonal flu shot from a pharmacy or a health care provider.
- Washing hands often, for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm water, or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Covering coughs/sneezes with the upper sleeve if no tissue is available.
- Putting all used tissues in the garbage right away.
- Staying at home if sick to avoid spreading infections to others.
- Tuberculosis - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is managing an outbreak of tuberculosis in Thunder Bay. Most cases identified to date have occurred in individuals who lack adequate housing. The risk to the general public is extremely low, and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is continuing to investigate. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is identifying and will contact people who may have been exposed to tuberculosis. Additional cases may be identified during this process. Symptoms of tuberculosis include a new cough, coughing up bloody sputum, chest pain, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical care. For more questions please call an Infectious Diseases nurse at 625-5900 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630.
- HIV - TBDHU is managing an HIV outbreak that is centred in the homeless/under-housed population in the city of Thunder Bay. This is the same population that is disproportionately impacted by the ongoing tuberculosis outbreak.The outbreak declaration comes after a recent spike of cases in May and June 2019, bringing the total number since January 1st, 2019 to 8 cases with 2 additional cases under investigation. Transmission is through sexual activity and sharing needles for injection drug use. There are likely further cases that have not yet been diagnosed. The Health Unit is working on an enhanced HIV/TB strategy to guide public health work in this area. As well, ongoing engagement of partners will strengthen a community-wide approach that considers prevention, testing, harm reduction and improving access to health care and other services for people.
For Further Information
Call the Infectious Disease or Environmental Health Programs: (807) 625-5900
or toll-free 1-888-294-6630