Board of Health Highlights for October 2019

October 15, 2019

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is governed by a Board of Health consisting of local municipal councillors, mayors and community members and is mandated to support the well-being of individuals and communities.

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health, updated the Board on: 

The flu is here

Locally, there have been two confirmed cases of the flu in children. Public Health is distributing the flu vaccine to physicians and long-term care homes. Pharmacies will receive vaccine from the Ministry of Health in November. Currently those most at risk should get the flu shot. This includes children under 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and those with chronic (or immune supressing) medical conditions. Adults 65 and older can get a high-dose flu shot from their doctor or from Public Health. High-dose vaccine is not available at pharmacies and pharmacists can not vaccinate anyone under 5 years of age. Public Health will be running high-risk clinics in October and general public clinics in November. For more information: 

Vaping is not a harmless habit

In the U.S., medical officials are investigating recent cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products; currently there are reports of over 800 cases and more than 13 deaths. While there are no known deaths in Canada, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has reported one case of severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping in a teenager and Quebec has declared its first case of severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping in a patient in their 50s. There is limited evidence vaping helps smokers quit. There is evidence that vaping is increasing smoking rates in children. Once youth begin vaping, they get addicted to nicotine. With youth oriented flavours, it appears the industry is targeting youth to purchase an addictive product. 

Seniors Dental Care

WDG Public Health will provide dental care for residents who are 65 years of age and older who qualify because of low income and a lack of access to insurance benefits. This dental care program will help reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital, prevent chronic disease and increase quality of life for our seniors. Public Health will have a staged roll out to ensure organizational capacity is developed to meet the demand in our area. Our facilities will be renovated to accommodate the expansion of dental services. Currently, WDG Public Health provides free dental care for children age 17 and under from qualifying families (through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program).