May 31, 2012 – Public Health Activates Heat Alert and Response System for Peterborough City and County

With summer quickly approaching and warmer temperatures imminent, Peterborough Public Health has activated its Heat Alert and Response System (HARS) to advise residents of the best way to protect their health when temperatures soar.

The Public Health monitors forecasted weather conditions daily, as provided by weather forecasters and Air Quality Ontario.  Heat advisories will be issued to the media and key stakeholders and posted at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca  when a hot or humid air mass is forecast and heat related health effects may occur.  Upon learning that a potential heat threshold is forecasted to occur within 24-48 hours, Public Health will activate the HARS.

The Public Health has adopted a series of extreme heat thresholds designed to advise the public, health professionals, and community service providers of appropriate measures they can take to reduce the health effects of hot, humid and smoggy weather.  These three advisory levels are outlined below: (more…)

May 29, 2012 – Community Invited to Free Health Information Session on June 14

To create awareness of the increasing importance of immunization, Peterborough Public Health invites the community and local healthcare providers to a free event called “Immunize… Why Not?” taking place on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at the Evinrude Centre.

Featuring pediatrician Dr. Peter Hughes, this event will provide the latest information and recommendations on immunizations for children. Participants will also have the chance for a question and answer segment with the presenter.
“This is a great opportunity for parents to learn about the province’s recently expanded immunization program and ask questions about the importance of vaccinating their children,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Dr. Hughes is a lively presenter and wonderful resource for parents who may have concerns regarding the safety of immunization.”

Admission is free of charge and this event is open to the general public. No advance registration is required. Details of the event are as follows:

WHEN: Thursday, June 14, 2012 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough
While this event will be of interest to the general public, it will be of particular value to parents and guardians, as well as healthcare providers.
For further information about this event, please call (705) 743-1000, ext. 139.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391

May 9, 2012 – Day in the Life – Tobacco Enforcement Officer Ingrid Cathcart presented an overview of her role as the community’s only Tobacco Enforcement Officer. Since starting at the Public Health in 1994, she has laid thousands of charges under the Tobacco Control Act, now referred to as the Smoke Free Ontario legislation. She routinely visits retailers, workplaces, schools and other public venues to ensure legal regulations are being followed regarding the sale and marketing of tobacco products. Ms. Cathcart is also involved in enforcing the sales and supply of contraband tobacco and working with tenants and property owners of multi-dwelling units to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. As part of the final phase of Peterborough’s smoke-free spaces bylaw, Ms. Cathcart noted that no-smoking signs are now being installed on all school properties and city parks.

Q1 2012 Program Report

Larry Stinson, Director of Public Health Programs, gave his report of Public Health activities for the first quarter of 2012. While the Public Health is on track for full compliance with Ontario Public Health Standards in most areas, partial compliance is expected in some programs due to limited funding resources. It is hoped that one-time funding requests to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will be approved to improve compliance in these areas.  (more…)

May 8, 2012 – Theme Announced for Speech and Language Month This May

Two local health units and their community partners are asking parents “not to play wait and see” if they suspect their preschool child has language delays. “Don’t Play Wait and See” is the theme for Speech and Language Month throughout May. The purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of screening and early intervention to help children from birth to six years of age who may be experiencing speech or language difficulties.

“The good news is that if identified early, speech and language problems can be overcome through parent and professional intervention,” said Alex Cranfield, System Coordinator for the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge Preschool Speech Language Program. “We strongly encourage parents to learn what the warning signs are and to contact their local health unit with any questions. If left unchecked, communication delays can lead to serious social and health-related outcomes.”

Parent involvement, education and support are the greatest contributors to success in a child’s speech and language development Ms. Cranfield says. In Ontario, approximately 10 percent of all preschool children have a communication delay.

A number of resources are available on www.kidtalk.on.ca to help parents check if their child’s speech and language development is on track. This website also includes a breakdown of specific speech skills and warning signs for children aged six months, nine months, 12 months, 24 months, 30 months, three years, four years and five years.
Parents who have questions or concerns about their child’s speech and language development are also encouraged to contact their local health unit and talk to a public health nurse. Nurses can conduct an assessment of a child’s development over the phone and provide additional resources and supports to parents.


May 7, 2012 – Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?

Community Invited to Free Event on May 10

In recognition of Emergency Preparedness Week from May 6-12, 2012, Peterborough Public Health together with its partners are inviting the community to a free event called “Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?” taking place this Thursday, May 10 at the Evinrude Centre.

This event will provide an update on the current status of potential pandemic viruses in the world and an opportunity to ensure community partners are prepared in the post-H1N1 era.  Participants will also learn about personal preparedness to get ready for the next pandemic.

“Even though we pulled together to respond to H1N1, now is the time to engage the community in planning for the next pandemic to ensure we have strong systems and communications in place,” said Edwina Dusome, Manager, Infectious Disease Program at Public Health.  “Our goal is to manage the risk of future pandemics as best we can by creating opportunities like these for the public and community organizations to prepare themselves.”

Speakers will include Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, Margaret Jay, Lead Infection Control Coordinator from the Peterborough Regional Health Centre and JoAnn Kropf-Hedley from Emergency Management Ontario.  Admission is free of charge and light refreshments will be available.  Details of the event are as follows:


WHEN:                       Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon

WHERE:                     Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough

TO REGISTER:         Visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or email cschofield@peterboroughpublichealth.ca


While this event will be of interest to the general public, it will be of particular value to local emergency response workers, healthcare providers, business leaders, and agricultural workers.

This event is being organized by the Peterborough Interagency Outbreak Planning Team comprised of several community partners, including Public Health, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Primary Care Services of Peterborough, City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, United Way, Trent University, Fleming College, Chamber of Commerce, Community Access Centre, local long-term care homes and both local school boards.


To review Public Health’s updated Pandemic Plan, visit www.pcchu-testing.ca/IC/IC-pandemic-plan.html .

For further information about registering for this event, please call (705) 743-1000, ext. 257.




For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391

April 26, 2012 – Protect Your Pet and Community With a $25 Rabies Vaccination
The Peterborough Public Health and local veterinarians are teaming up again this year to provide pet owners with low-cost rabies clinics across Peterborough City and County on Saturday, May 5 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.
The cost for a rabies shot is only $25 per animal, cash only. The clinics are for dogs and cats only and they must be restrained. “Protecting your cat or dog against rabies is not just a good idea, it’s the law,” said Tom Cathcart, Manager of Inspection Services who oversees the rabies prevention program for Public Health. “We hope that the community will take advantage of these low-cost rabies clinics because while it’s rare, when humans develop rabies from infected animals it is almost 100% fatal.”

The law requires that all cats and dogs over three months of age in Peterborough City and County must be vaccinated for rabies. Vaccinations protect pets from rabies and help protect your family if your pet is bitten by a rabid wild animal. A conviction for not having an animal properly vaccinated carries a $110.00 fine per animal.

Rabies is a deadly disease of the central nervous system that affects humans and other mammals. The virus is concentrated in the saliva of a rabid animal and can spread through a bite, cut or scratch, or if the saliva comes in contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. There is no known treatment for rabies once the symptoms appear. The disease cannot be treated, but it can be prevented through vaccination.

Rabies vaccination clinics are taking place at the following locations throughout Peterborough City and County on May 5 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.: