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A-Z Health Topics
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A-Z Health Topics lists public health information that's not found in other areas of our website. You'll find a wide variety of topics here, most of which include links to other websites where you can find even more information.
If you think we're missing a topic, you can email us to suggest one by going to our Contact Us page.
|Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP)||
Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) describes a group of conditions with set symptoms. AFP is identified by the sudden weakening or loss of muscle tone in children less than 15 years old, without a clear cause.
|Aedes aegypti mosquito||
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a tropical mosquito that is part of the Aedes species. It is capable of transmitting several viruses, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. These mosquitoes are small and have a black and white pattern on their legs and other parts of the body.
|Aedes albopictus mosquito||
The Aedes albopictus mosquito is a tropical mosquito that is part of the Aedes species which is capable of transmitting Zika virus. Although this species of mosquito, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is capable of transmitting viruses including Zika, it is not the species that is responsible for the majority of human cases of Zika virus infection in the Caribbean, South America and Florida. That species is the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Amebiasis is an infection caused by a parasite, called Entamoeba histolytica. It lives in the feces (poop) of a person. Most infections occur in a person’s stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract). In some people, the disease may occur in the liver, lungs, skin, and other parts of the body.
|Animal and Insect-related Diseases||Animal and Insect-related diseases are defined as diseases that are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi, and that can be transmitted between humans and animals.|
If you’re bitten or scratched by a domestic animal (your own, a stray or someone else’s), a wild animal or directly exposed to a bat (bite, scratch, or the bat has touched or landed on you):
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease in which a person’s airways are inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. The airways become more inflamed when “triggers” are inhaled, which can cause them to produce more mucous and may also cause the muscles around the airway to tighten.
|Asthma in the Classroom||
The following information will provide an overview of key facts about asthma, and will outline helpful tips for managing students in the classroom with an asthma diagnosis.
Baylisascaris procyonis is a roundworm parasite found in intestines of raccoons. This roundworm can infect people as well as a variety of other animals including dogs. The infection in humans is rare, but can be severe if the parasites infect the eye, brain, spinal cord, and/or other organs
Bed bugs are wingless, red-brown, blood sucking insects. They’re oval shaped and live four months to one year. They can survive for long periods without a blood meal. Their eggs are whitish, pear-shaped, and approximately the size of a pinhead.
Blastomycosis is an infection caused by a group of fungus called Blastomyces. The fungus is usually found in wet soil in wooded areas near water and rotting plants. It grows as mould in the soil, and once it enters the body it grows as yeast. The fungus often causes an infection in the lungs. It can also affect other areas such as the skin and bone.
|Blue-Green Algae Bloom||
Blue-green algae are microscopic bacteria that occur naturally in fresh water lakes. In warm weather, with the right nutrients and low wind, they can form a large mass called a bloom. Residents and visitors are urged to take a cautious approach, monitor the situation, and protect themselves from potential health risks.
Botulism is a rare infection caused by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum. These germs make a toxin (poison) that affects your nervous system and can cause paralysis. This germ is found worldwide in soil and dust and also can be found in the intestines of animals.
Brucellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria, Brucella. These germs mainly live in cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep.
Campylobacter enteritis is an infection caused by a group of bacteria. These germs live mostly in the intestines of animals, including poultry, cattle, rodents, and household pets.
|Canine Influenza - Information for Pet Owners||
Canine influenza (or dog flu) is an influenza A virus that infects dogs. There are two different dog flu viruses: H3N8 and H3N2 virus. Most dogs have no immunity to either strain of virus and it is highly contagious. It can also infect cats. It is not known to infect humans. The first documented case of H3N2 in Canada was on January 2, 2018 in Windsor-Essex County.
|Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)||
Enterobacteriaceae are a group of bacteria (germs), many of which live naturally in our bowels. These germs are also found in the environment. CPE is a type of enterobacteriaceae that makes carbapenemase enzymes. These enzymes can break down many types of antibiotics (medications that fight bacteria).
|Care for your Child after Vaccinations||
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects that are usually mild and brief. Most children are fine after getting a shot. Side effects are usually minimal and last less than 24 hours. In rare cases, a child may have a serious allergic reaction. The risks of a serious reaction happening are lower than the risks of the diseases the shots prevent. After your child receives a vaccination (shot), your child will be asked to wait for 15 minutes to make sure that there are no side effects.
Chickenpox is a common and preventable infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Chikungunya is a disease spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease typically causes high grade fever combined with arthritis-like joint pains.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria (germs), called chlamydia trachomatis. It is one of the most common bacterial STIs.
Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria can be found in water or food that has been contaminated with stool (poop) from a person who is infected with cholera. In Ontario, an average of one case per year is reported and all cases have been exposed to cholera in another country while travelling. Places in the world with poor sanitation, poor water treatment and inadequate hygiene are more likely to have cholera.
Cold weather can be harmful to your health. While the health risks related to cold are higher for certain groups (such as people who work outdoors, people with pre-existing heart conditions or respiratory illnesses, older adults, infants, young children, and those who are experiencing homelessness), everyone is potentially at risk.
|Comment dois-je me nettoyer les mains?||
Étapes du lavage des mains et étapes de la désinfection des mains
|Common Cold (Viral Upper Respiratory Infection)||
A common cold, or a viral upper respiratory infection, is an infection of the nose and throat. Many different viruses (germs) can cause a cold. While the common cold and influenza (flu) symptoms can seem very similar, the flu is usually more severe.
Cryptosporidiosis (crypto) is an infection caused by a group of parasites (germs), called cryptosporidium. Most infections occur in a person’s stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract). Infections can occur in other parts of the body, such as the lungs. These germs can infect humans, cattle, and other animals.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal (bowel) infection caused by a parasite (germs), called cyclospora cayetanensis. The germs live in humans, and are most common in warm and humid countries.
Diphtheria is an infection caused by a bacterium (germ) called Corynebacterium diphtheriae. These germs are not commonly found in Canada. Diphtheria is an infection prevented through immunization. Travellers and unimmunized persons are most at risk of getting sick.
Escherichia coli, also called E. coli, are bacteria that are often found in the intestines of people and animals. There are different types of E. coli. Some types of E. coli are not harmful, but others like E. coli O157:H7, can make some people very sick. Usually illness is caused by eating contaminated food or water, having contact with someone who is sick with the bacteria, or animals that carry it.
|Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)||
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but potentially fatal illness that can be transferred to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Ebola is a severe acute viral illness in humans. Ebola risk is very low in Windsor-Essex. To date, there have not been any cases of Ebola in Canada, and the risk to Ontarians remains low.
|Echinococcus multilocularis infection||
Echinococcus multilocularis (E. multilocularis) infection is caused by eating the eggs of tapeworms called E. multilocularis. These tapeworms can cause disease in humans and animals. They are often found in the intestines of dogs, wild canines (e.g., coyotes, foxes, wolves), and rodents.
|Entérobactéries productrices de carbapénèmases (EPC)||
Les entérobactéries sont un groupe de bactéries (germes) qui se retrouvent naturellement dans les intestins. Ces bactéries se retrouvent aussi dans l’environnement. Les EPC sont un type d’entérobactéries qui produisent des enzymes appelées carbapénèmases. Ces enzymes peuvent décomposer de nombreux types d’antibiotiques (médicaments luttant contre les bactéries), rendant ainsi les bactéries très résistantes et difficiles à traiter.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a relatively rare virus with potentially serious risks to some people.
|Exposure to potential bloodborne pathogens||Bloodborne pathogens are germs that are present in the blood and can cause diseases.|