Diseases designated as reportable under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (R.S.O. 1990), are reported to the Health Unit by doctors, hospitals, institutions, and the public. Reportable diseases are entered into the provincial computerized Integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS). iPHIS information is transmitted to the Ministry of Health on a regular basis in order for consultants to analyze the patterns of disease occurrence in Ontario. When there is a communicable disease outbreak, trained public health staff implement specific measures to control the spread of the disease.
After Hour Emergency: Call (807) 468-7109.
Pandemic Influenza Planning
The Northwestern Health Unit is part of a global network of laboratories and surveillance systems which is keeping a watchful eye for new influenza strains. Pandemic flu planning sessions have been conducted with all municipalities in the catchment area including stakeholders from First Nations, Manitoba Health, Minnesota Public Health and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. Information regarding the Influenza Pandemic Plan can be located on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. website.
Did you know that
Handwashing is the best way to stop the spread of infectious diseases?
An information package on head lice is available from your local Health Unit office? The contents include: Head Lice Life Cycle), Management of Persons with Pediculosis, Health Canada Facts About Head Lice, Canadian Paediatric Society Statement: Head Lice Infestations, Pamphlet: The Facts of Lice, the Facts on Head Lice, Information Sheet: Spotlight on Infection Prevention, Lice Notes, PowerPoint Presentation: Lice - A Challenging Pest, and Bibliographies.
Community Partnerships are working together in the Northwestern Health Unit's catchment area to optimize vaccine use and control infectious diseases.
Infection Control Committees
Northwestern Health Unit staff are key members of Infection Control Committees in all acute and long-term care facilities in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts. These Infection Control Committees improve coordination of emergency preparedness and contingency planning in the event of an outbreak. They also serve as local forums to discuss current trends and technologies in Health Protection, and share expertise and resources on epidemiological surveillance and infection control. These groups strike relationships with fellow practitioners and improve links with other relevant groups. They provide key input into infection control policies and procedures in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Membership consists of representatives from: NWHU, hospitals, long-term care facilities, First Nations Inuit Health Branch, First Nations Health Authorities, physicians, nurses, infection control specialists, hospital and medical laboratories, health and safety professionals, and public health inspectors.
Ontario Pandemic Flu Planning Committee
Over 200 individuals from public health, clinical care, labour, professional associations, regulatory colleges and government provided their time and expertise to sit on the Ontario Pandemic Flu Planning Committee to help develop the Ontario Health Plan for an Influenza Pandemic, June 2005. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care acknowledges their hard work and dedication to protecting the health and safety of Ontarians as well as the support of their employers, including the Northwestern Health Unit, in enabling them to participate in this process.
Ontario Core Competencies Working Group: Infection Prevention and Control
The Northwestern Health Unit was represented on the Ontario Core Competencies Working Group: Infection Prevention and Control. This group linked with CHICA, OMA, RNAO, OPHA, ALPHA and OHA to 1) identify gaps and skill sets needed to deliver services at the local public health level, and 2) to develop common" core competencies for public health professionals for the management of infection prevention and control strategies in Ontario.
Northwestern Ontario Regional Infection Control Committee (RICC)
Regional Infection Control Committees are part of the network of local, regional and national committees that are developing a coordinated approach to prevention, surveillance and control of infectious diseases throughout geographic regions and across health care spectrums.
The Northwestern Ontario RICC improves communications and facilitates integration of infection prevention and control activities in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts. District partners include infection control practitioners from hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Northwestern Ontario Regional Infection Control Network (RICN)
Regional Infection Control Networks are part of the network of local, regional and national committees that are developing a coordinated approach to prevention, surveillance and control of infectious diseases throughout geographic regions and across health care spectrums.
The Northwestern Ontario RICN reports to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. It includes representation from a region that covers the Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay Districts. The Northwestern Health Unit is a key partner in the Northwestern Ontario RICN. Other regional partners on the Northwestern Ontario RICN include, but are not limited to, representatives from acute and long-term care facilities, medical laboratories, pediatrics, family medicine, nursing, occupational health and safety, allied health, physicians and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.