City monitoring Swine Flu outbreak

Tuesday, April 28, 2009: City of Toronto staffers are working with municipal and provincial partners, and are closely monitoring the emerging information on swine flu in other parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico and other countries, according to a statement released today.

“We are monitoring this evolving situation closely and are ready to respond in the event that anyone in Toronto is affected by this illness,” says Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown. “At this point, there are no cases of swine flu reported in Toronto.”

The report states that Toronto Public Health has increased monitoring for influenza linked to the cases in Mexico and the United States and has distributed a ‘Surveillance Alert’ to hospitals, emergency rooms, infection control practitioners and physicians to ensure they are aware of the situation, and to request that they report any suspect cases.

According to the release, the City has a well-developed pandemic influenza plan to guide it through an influenza outbreak.

“We all learned lessons from our 2003 SARS experience,” added Mayor David Miller. “The City’s planning and preparedness activities for an influenza pandemic have been underway since 2005 using a strong divisional approach co-ordinated by the Office of Emergency Management.”

The City advises members of the public to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmission of respiratory illness, including:

  • Washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and hot water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • If a tissue is not available, sneezing or coughing into a sleeve or arm is recommended.
  • Staying home if ill. Those who have traveled recently are urged to see a doctor if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

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