October 28, 2016 – Public Health Benefits Include Higher Physical Activity Rates and Fewer InjuriesScreen Shot 10-28-16 at 02.04 PM

Today, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health, joined Susan Sauvé, Transportation Demand Management Planner for the City of Peterborough, on her last cycling tour of theyear.

The purpose of Sauvé’s cycling tours was to showcase the City’s new cycling facilities, which include buffered bike lanes, green markings on pavement and two-stage left turns for cyclists, and to also see where future improvements can be made. Dr. Salvaterra was particularly interested in viewing and navigating some of the City’s newly installed cycling facilities given that past research has shown many connections between certain facility types and their effect on higher physical activity rates and lower incidence of injuries.

“The City has worked very hard over the past decade to provide a designated space for cyclists to travel in Peterborough,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “In as little as ten years the City has added over 30 km of new cycle lanes and trails to our cycling network, which is an extremely impressive expansion.”

The 2014 Peterborough City and County Active Transportation and Health Indicators Report showed that from 2003 to 2012 there were 3,283 emergency department visits and 137 hospitalizations in Peterborough City and County as a result of cyclist collisions.   Dr. Salvaterra feels that every effort should be made to decrease these numbers and that improved safety and injury prevention should be prioritized when the City is planning the expansion of our cycling network.  Current research shows that the presence and type of cycling facilities can have a drastic effect on usage and injury rates.  For example, according to the University of British Columbia, there is a decrease in cyclist injuries when cyclist designed facilities are provided (e.g., designated cycle lanes, cycle track or off-road cycle paths).

Along with having the right cycling facilities available, Dr. Salvaterra added that “a person’s comfort and familiarity with using a new piece of infrastructure is also a big factor when they are deciding whether to go for a bike ride and what route they should take.”

With the 5.5km of new cycling facilities implemented across the Cityin 2016, it is important for residents to get out and experience the new features.  The two-stage left turn bike box at the intersection of George and Hunter streets is a new feature that may be unfamiliar to some, but is a facility that is becoming more commonly used across North America.

“I am very happy to join Ms. Sauvé today so I can see the changes to the cycling network,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “I encourage every Peterborough resident to do the same so that you can provide ideas and insight to the City during times of public input.”

Today, Dr. Salvaterra experienced just a few of the new facilities in town, which include:

  • Buffered bike lanes:
    • An example of this is located on the cycle lanes on George St. and Water St.
    • These lanes are created by hashing out space on the pavement between the bike lane and the vehicle lane, the buffer creates additional space between vehicles and people on bicycles
    • Additionally, in some sections the buffer is between the parked cars and the cycle lane to decrease the risk of a cyclist colliding with an opening car door
  • Green markings on pavement:
    • An example of this is located at the corner of Water St. and Parkhill Rd.
    • In North America, green is the standard colour for cycling facilities. Green-painted pavement identifies locations for potential conflicts with vehicles, such as street- and driveway crossings. Watch for turning, crossing, or merging motor vehicles.
  • Two stage left turn box:
    • The only example of this in the City presently is on the south west corner of the George Street and Hunter Street intersection.
    • There is a green square on the pavement with a bicycle symbol and a left turn arrow.  This is where bikes can wait to make a left turn at Hunter Street from George Street.  Some cyclists find it difficult or unnerving to cross over to the left lane to turn left in this location because there can be a lot of vehicles.  The bike box provides a comfortable way for cyclists to turn left without having to enter the vehicle lanes.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

October 20, 2016 – As new research reveals increasing rates of cancers caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), Peterborough Public Health is pleased to offer the HPV vaccine to both Grade 7 boys and girls thanks to Ontario’s newly expanded student immunization program.

“In a new report from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, released on October 18, we learned that cancers of the mouth and throat caused by HPV are rising dramatically and are poised to surpass the rate of cervical cancer,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health at PPH.  “Projections are that 1,200 Canadians will die from HPV-related cancers this year alone. We strongly encourage parents to get their children in Grade 7 vaccinated at no charge so they are protected against these cancers later in life.”

The vaccination, which was previously only offered to girls, is now available to boys as well, and continues to be offered to girls entering Grade 8 in the 2016-17 school year. PPH’s expanded delivery of this vaccine is supported by the provincial expansion of publicly-funded immunization programs aiming to protect youth from preventable infections such as HPV.

HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is safe and effective, and has demonstrated very high success in preventing the occurrence of HPV. HPV is a common virus that can lead to several types of cancer. According to Cancer Care Ontario, HPV is estimated to cause 1,090 new cancers each year in the province. The virus has been estimated to cause an average of 254 deaths and 1,000 cases of cancer in Ontario every year. These risks can be minimized through early immunization.

Information and consent forms have been provided to students, and parents are asked to review and discuss this information with their sons and daughters to ensure awareness and understanding of both HPV and the vaccine. In order to receive HPV vaccination through the school vaccine program, students must provide signed consent forms to their school in advance of the school immunization date. As an alternative, students are also able to receive the vaccine at public health vaccination clinics or through their healthcare provider.

Through partnerships with local school boards, the school immunization program is delivered within school facilities by registered public health nurses. Through this program, students in Grade 7 are also offered Hepatitis B and Meningococcal vaccine in addition to the HPV vaccine.

For more information about the HPV vaccination, visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Website. For more information about the PPH immunization program, members of the public are invited to visit our website, or call 705-743-1000 x 129.

Read the report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Cancer Society here: http://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/for-media/media-releases/national/2016/canadian-cancer-statistics-2016/?region=on#ixzz4NXLCPzlU





For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

October 12, 2016 – To view the meeting summary from the October 11 Board of Health meeting click on the image below.
Screen Shot 11-07-16 at 09.17 AM

October 7, 2016 – Location: Hiawatha First Nation, Administration Building

Media and the community are advised that the Board of Health will meet on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at Hiawatha First Nation in the Council Chambers, Lower Hall, Administration Building, 123 Paudash Street.

To download the agenda and the online board package, please visit:


The meeting is open to the community and members of the media.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

Screen Shot 10-06-16 at 03.00 PMOctober 6, 2016 – Peterborough Public Health is advising local residents to protect themselves from blue-green algae which have bloomed on area lakes.

Peterborough Public Health with the assistance of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) have received confirmed reports of the presence  of blue-green algae in Pigeon Lake, Municipality of Trent Lakes (Crowes Line Road).

“Residents should visit the Peterborough Public Health website or call us for information about what to look for before swimming or consuming water if they suspect a bloom in their area,” said Atul Jain, Manager of  Environmental Health Programs at Peterborough Public Health. “Just as we’ve all learned how to avoid poison ivy and sunburns, it’s important to know how to protect ourselves from blue-green algae so everyone can still safely enjoy the outdoors.”

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria, called cyanobacteria that are known for rapidly reproducing and collecting to form large, highly visible blooms throughout the water column, on the surface of water as a scum, or on the lake bottom as a mat.  These blooms are not only unsightly and smelly: some species of cyanobacteria can also release poisons, called cyanobacterial toxins, when the cells that make up the bloom rupture or die.

To report a blue-green algae bloom, residents are advised to contact MOECC Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

If blooms are visible:

  • Do not use the water for drinking, food preparation, bathing, or showering.
  • Do not allow children, pets, or livestock to swim in the water or drink the water.
  • If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove the algae.
  • Residents should not boil the water. Boiling will not remove the toxins and may release more of the toxin into the water.
  • Residents should avoid cooking with the water because food may absorb toxins from the water during cooking.
  •  Home treatment systems for water may not remove toxins and may become clogged, thereby failing to remove the risk.
  • Do not treat the water with a disinfectant such as chlorine bleach.  This action may break open algal cells and release toxins into the water.

The risk to humans is primarily from drinking water that has been contaminated with toxins from a dense algae bloom.  Fortunately, there have been no human deaths attributed to drinking water containing cyanobacterial toxins, but the toxins may cause headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Long-term consumption of water containing high levels of cyanobacterial toxins may cause neurological or liver problems.  If allowed, farm animals and pets may consume large quantities of heavily contaminated water, resulting in sickness or death.

Some individuals are sensitive to blue-green algae, and may develop a mild skin rash or eye irritation even if there is no toxin produced by the bloom.  Some individuals will have no reaction.

For more information on blue-green algae, and precautions to be taken before swimming in or consuming water where there has been an algae bloom, go to www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “My Home & Environment” and visit the webpage dedicated to blue-green algae.


For further information, please contact:

Atul Jain
Manager, Environmental Health Programs
705-743-1000 x259




October 4, 2016 – Influenza and Adacel Vaccines Also Recommended for Older Adults by Health Experts

Local health leaders from Peterborough Public Health and Peterborough Family Health Team say Minister Hoskins’ recent announcement that the Ontario government is funding free shingles vaccine for those aged 65-70 is great news for our community.

“With such a high proportion of seniors in the Peterborough area, we expect to see a real benefit to our community now that the shingles vaccine is available free of charge to some older adults,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “This announcement was timely with flu season around the corner so older adults can discuss the flu shot and other free vaccines that may be available to them as well.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that all adults are eligible for a single, one-time dose of Adacel which protects against pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus and diphtheria.  “For grandparents who haven’t received Adacel yet, it may help protect their young grandchildren,” she added.

Peterborough Family Health Team Medical Director Dr. Kaetlan Wilson emphasized that local healthcare providers are at the ready to provide these important vaccinations.  “Many of our healthcare providers have already ordered stock of the shingles vaccine so we’re ready to immunize patients who are eligible.  During the same visit we can also advise them on getting the flu shot and Adacel, both of which offer excellent protection and are publicly funded.”

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, affects more than 42,000 people every year in Ontario and can cause complications such as loss of vision and debilitating nerve pain. Studies show that the vaccine is highly effective when seniors are vaccinated between the ages of 65 – 70 years, and this new program aligns with scientific and expert recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Those who are eligible for the shingles vaccine should contact their primary care doctor or nurse practitioner to receive the vaccination. Those without a family physician can book an appointment in the Routine Immunization Clinic at Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 129.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence                                                                                                                  Renee Oortwyn

Communications Manager                                                                                              Operations Assistant

Peterborough Public Health                                                                                            Peterborough Family Health Team

705-743-1000, ext. 391                                                                                                        705-749-1564, ext. 316