Enteric diseases are a significant
contributor to the overall burden of reportable illnesses in Ontario,
accounting for approximately 9,500 cases in 2011. Consumption of contaminated
food and water, contact with animals and their environment, and
person-to-person contact constitute important modes of transmission for enteric
illnesses. In this session, we will present the overall findings of a study pertaining
to enteric diseases associated with animal contact in Ontario (Whitfield et.
al., 2017). Analysis of reportable disease data reported in the integrated
Public Health Information System (iPHIS) revealed that approximately 26% of
cases of enteric pathogens reported contact with animals or their environments
in the period 2010 to 2012, with the most frequently identified points of
exposure being farms, dogs and cats, and reptiles, respectively. This
represents an increase in comparison to the approximate 6% reported in the
period 1997 to 2003 (Lee, Middleton, 2003).
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• Describe the overall burden of enteric zoonoses in Ontario.
• List the categories of animals and their environments that are resulting in enteric illnesses.
• Interpret risk factors more accurately for the purpose of identifying the source of enteric illnesses.
Presenters: Yvonne Whitfield and Dr. Dean Middleton
Yvonne Whitfield works as a Senior Program Specialist with Public Health Ontario. Yvonne holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Guelph’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She has co-chaired a national working group on pets and pet food.
Dr. Dean Middleton is a veterinary epidemiologist whose primary areas of interest are enteric and zoonotic diseases. Dean joined Public Health Ontario in 2009, after having worked at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for ten years. During these years, Dean has maintained an interest in zoonotic diseases.
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