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Working together to prevent spread of seasonal illness and novel coronavirus

preventing the spread of seasonal illness

Healthcare partners in our community, including the health unit, hospitals, primary care providers, and Emergency Medicine Services, are working with each other and with the Ministry of Health to ensure residents are protected from the potential spread of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

“The Health Unit has always worked with our local hospitals regarding the implementation of infection prevention and control measures and case and contact management related to reportable diseases,” says Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “With the introduction of the novel coronavirus, and Ontario’s identification of it as a new reportable disease, we have heightened our communication to ensure we continue to share the information and resources needed to protect the public’s health.”

At this time of year, there are many respiratory viruses and other illnesses circulating in our community, and the steps to protect yourself from those illnesses are also effective protection against 2019-nCoV.

What is the 2019-nCoV?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. This was the case with SARS and MERS and with the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

How are local healthcare partners prepared?

Although the risk continues to be low, staff from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, Northumberland Hills Hospital, Ross Memorial Hospital, Campbellford Memorial Hospital, Haliburton Highlands Health Services and primary care partners have implemented precautionary measures required to ensure the safety of patients, visitors, and health care workers, including thorough symptom and travel screenings.

As a reportable disease, healthcare partners are now required to report a suspected case of the novel coronavirus to their local medical officer of health. If a suspected case of novel coronavirus was to be identified in this area, the Health Unit would work with the Ministry of

Health, Public Health Ontario Laboratory, and local hospitals in the management of the case and potential contacts.

Where can you find the most reliable and up-to-date information?

It’s important to check credible sources of information about 2019-nCoV, including daily updates on: