Lambton County Released Infectious Disease Report

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The County of Lambton Community Health Services Department (CHSD) has released a Health Status Report on Infectious Diseases.

This report examines the incidence of reportable infectious diseases in Lambton County and compares local rates to those in Ontario and Canada.

Data from local, provincial and national surveillance systems were analyzed and reported for the years 1996 to 2007. The report revealed that Lambton rates are similar to or lower than Ontario and Canadian rates for most reportable infectious diseases.

Dr. Chris Greensmith, (A) Medical Officer of Health for the County of Lambton says “Low rates of many infectious diseases are the direct result of successful public health programs. For example, effective immunization programs have reduced rates of most vaccine preventable diseases to historical lows. Measles, mumps, rubella and several other diseases are now rarely seen in Lambton County.” Despite these low rates, he cautions that we must not become complacent. “Outbreaks continue to occur in unimmunized or under-immunized populations across the country. We must maintain vaccine coverage rates of at least 95% in order to prevent the resurgence of these diseases.”

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Additional report highlights include:

• In 2007, 383 cases of infectious diseases were reported in Lambton. The top six reportable diseases were chlamydia, hepatitis C, influenza, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and gonorrhea, accounting for 90% of all reported cases.

• Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in Lambton are lower than those in Ontario and Canada; however, local, provincial and national rates have been increasing since the mid 1990’s. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI. In 2007, there were 181 cases reported in Lambton.

• Enteric disease rates in Lambton are lower or similar to those in Ontario and Canada. While rates of several enteric diseases have decreased or remained stable in recent years, periodic outbreaks have occurred across the country. Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported enteric disease. In 2007, there were 30 cases reported in Lambton.

• Vaccine preventable disease rates in Lambton are lower or similar to those in Ontario and Canada. Influenza is the most commonly reported vaccine preventable disease. In 2007, there were 35 cases reported in Lambton. In 2007, approximately 41% of Lambton residents reported having their flu shot in the past year.

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