October 25,

With HPV-caused Mouth and Throat Cancers Rising, Parents Encouraged to Vaccinate Their Kids at School Clinics

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

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Board of Health Meets October 12 at 5:30 p.m.

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

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Blue-Green Algae Bloom on Pigeon Lake: Know the Risks and How to Protect Yourself

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




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Free Shingles Vaccine Good News for Local Seniors

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

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2016-17 Health at Work Peterborough’s Breakfast Series on Mental Health

September 27, 2016 – Health at Work Peterborough is pleased to present the “Health at Work Breakfast Series” to be launched during “Healthy Workplace Month” this October.   The purpose of Healthy Workplace month is to increase awareness of the need for a comprehensive approach to workplace health in Canada that is influenced by the four elements of a healthy workplace:  Healthy Lifestyles, Workplace Culture and Mental Health, the Physical Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Taking place over 2016-17, this series will include important topics of interest to the business community regarding mental health in the workplace. The effects of mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion a year.  About one-third of this cost is related to absenteeism and loss of productivity in the workplace. With one in four Canadians experiencing some kind of mental illness over their life, ultimately mental illness affects us all.  Stuart Harrison, President and C.E.O. of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce states, “This is a terrific initiative. Business owners are looking for tangible ways to be supportive. This series will go a long way to showing how it can be accomplished.”

Locally, the Peterborough Health at Work Committee has a mandate to support workplaces in creating healthy work environments with an emphasis on psychological health and safety. The committee includes representation from Peterborough Public Health, The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR), Community Counselling and Resource Centre (CCRC) and Dr. Fergal O’Hagan, Assistant Professor, Trent University and Director of Research at Adaptive Health Care Solutions.

In 2013 the Mental Health Commission of Canada released voluntary National Standards on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. These voluntary standards include 13 factors that impact the psychological health and safety of employees including organizational culture; leadership; civility and respect; job fit; growth and development; recognition and reward; involvement and influence; workload management; engagement; life balance; psychological support and protection and physical health and safety. The good news is that many businesses are already implementing policies and practices around these standards. These workshops will further support HR professionals, managers, labour relations organizations and front line workers to gain a better understanding of the opportunities to promote and improve mentally health workplaces.

Dates and topics of the Breakfast Series:

October 26, 2016       Mental Health Works: The Essentials

Jack Veitch, Health Promoter with CMHA HKPR will provide a one hour presentation introducing “Mental Health Works.” After the presentation, participants will be able to consider mental health as embedded within overall health; understand mental health and common mental health problems in terms of work-life balance and understand the impact of stigmatizing language and beliefs.  These are all essential elements needed to create psychological supports—one of the 13 psychosocial factors necessary to create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.

January 25, 2017        Job Analysis for Psychosocial Risk

“Psychological demands” is another psychosocial factor that contributes to the mental health of employees.  In our more brain-based economy, psychological fit is as important as assessing the physical demands of a job. Understanding what the psychological demands are will assist you in such areas as hiring, training and performance management.  In addition, job analysis is an essential tool when modifying jobs to ensure a better fit for employees.  Dr. Fergal O’Hagan will present information and strategies that will help you analyze a job for psychological fit.

April 26, 2017             Critical Incident Response and the Value of EFAPs

The CSA Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace addresses “critical event preparedness” for the individual and the organization.  Whether you have implemented the Standard or not, it is important to have a plan in place on how you will deal with a critical incident in your workplace.  As Manager of Counselling at the Community Counselling and Resource Centre (CCRC), Kirsten Armbrust oversees the EAP program of fseap Peterborough.  Kirsten will present information on developing a critical incident response.  She will also discuss the types of programs and services available through employee and family assistance programs (EFAPs).

The breakfasts will be held at Peterborough Public Health, 185 King Street, breakfast served at 8:00 a.m. and the presentation from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Registration is $10 per person. Registration is now open for the October breakfast and closes Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

Other events may be added to this Series as opportunities arise.

For more information and to register please visit www.healthatworkpeterborough.ca and search Education/Training.


For further information:
Monique Beneteau, Peterborough Public Health
Chair, Peterborough Health at Work Committee
705-743-1003 ext. 309



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