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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.
Zika virus is caused by a virus which is spread by the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes species of mosquito is not native to Canada.
Yersiniosis (yer-sin-ee-o-sis) is an infection caused by the bacteria Yersinia. Yersinia is a strong bacteria that can continue to live in environments without much oxygen and in refrigeration. One common source of infection can be contaminated food such as raw or undercooked pork.
Yellow fever is a disease cause by flavivirus. The virus is spread by mosquito bites that occur in the jungle and tropical areas of South America and Africa.
|Whooping Cough (Pertussis)||
Whooping cough is also known as Pertussis, is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract.
|West Nile Virus||
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito transmitted virus that can be transferred to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito.
When your skin is exposed to the sun, it’s able to make vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to keep your bones, muscles and teeth healthy.
|Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)||
Enterococci are bacteria (germs) that live in people’s gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines).
|Vaccines for Adults|
The Ultraviolet Index (UV Index) is a measurement of the intensity of the sun’s rays. The higher the UV index, the more harm done by the sun to your skin, eyes, and immune system.
The practice of urban agriculture is not a new concept and has been accepted in other parts of the province to empower local communities to develop sustainable food systems. An example of urban agriculture is the raising of urban chickens (backyard chickens) as a source of fresh eggs.
What is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by TB germs. TB usually attacks the lungs but can affect any part of the body.
|Ticks and Lyme Disease||
Ticks are a relative to the spider and are a crawling, non-flying insect. They vary in size and colour. Ticks are very small (1 to 5 mm) when unfed and female ticks get larger and change colour when feeding. Ticks can spread Lyme Disease.
Tetanus is often known as “lockjaw”, and is spread by a bacteria. The bacteria lives in dirt, soil and dust. It may also be in human and animal stool (poop) and sometimes in animal saliva (spit).
Tattooing or micropigmentation is the insertion of ink deep into the skin putting a permanent marking or design on the skin. It is a form of self-expression and is permanent. Tattooing involves making tiny holes in the skin. Infections can be transmitted anytime you break the skin.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacteria that is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, sharing needles or from mother to her unborn child.
The best way to protect yourself from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation is to cover up, limit your exposure at key times, seek shade, and cover any unprotected areas of the skin with sunscreen.
|Streptococcal Infections - Invasive Group A||
Group A Streptococci (GAS) bacteria can cause many different infections that are mostly mild.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It's the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella zoster). The virus does not leave your body after a chickenpox infection and becomes active again causing shingles.
Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. People who eat food or drink water contaminated with Shigella bacteria can become ill with shigellosis.
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by bacteria, called Salmonella. These germs live mostly in the intestines of animals and birds.
|Safer Sex for Adults||
Some adults back on the dating scene are often not aware that the “safer-sex talks” of high school are still applicable to them as adults. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise in adults.
Rubella, commonly known as German Measles, is an infection that affects the skin and lymph nodes.
|Rethink Your Drink||Flavoured water is a cheap, healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. Here are some recipes and tips to prepare it safely.|
|Radon||Radon is produced when uranium found in soil, rock or water decays. Radon is found across Canada because it occurs naturally in soil. The gas naturally rises up from the soil and can get into any type of building where it builds up due to negative pressure and lack of air flow. Breathing in radon gas for extended periods of time can potentially be hazardous to you and your family.|
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal. In Canada, bats, foxes, skunks, and raccoons are the most common transmitters of the disease.
You can do these things to help reduce the chances of yourself or your family getting an infection from a virus or bacteria.
|Polio (Poliomyelitis, acute)||
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a vaccine preventable disease. It is a potentially deadly disease caused by the poliovirus. It is very contagious. Canada has been certified “polio-free” since 1994 thanks to our vaccination program.
Pinworms are tiny (5 to 13 millimetres), thread-like, white worms that can live in the colon and rectum of humans. They are very common in children. Pinworms are not dangerous.
Body piercing is putting jewellery through the skin. There are many things that you and your body piercer can do to reduce any risks.
|Pertussis Whooping Cough||
Whooping cough is also known as pertussis.
Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids can also produce a sense of euphoria (a high), which may lead people to use them improperly. There are prescriptions opioids like codeine, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone and illegally produced opioids like “bootleg” fentanyl.
|Norovirus (Norwalk-like virus)||
Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis). It is an illness that usually includes diarrhea and vomiting. You may have a norovirus sickness many times in your life because there are different types of noroviruses. Norovirus can spread quickly in a facility like a nursing home, retirement homes, daycares schools and cruise ships.
Mumps is a viral illness that can spread from one person to another. Most people recover from the infection, but mumps can have serious complications and lead to long-term health problems. Since the widespread use of the mumps vaccine, mumps infection is rare.
|Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)||
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is a type of bacterium that's resistant to several antibiotics. In the community MRSA can cause skin and other infections. In a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or nursing home, MRSA can cause severe bloodstream and surgical site infections.
|Mental Health Promotion||
Mental health is the capacity to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life, realize our own potential, deal with challenges, and contribute to society (Mental Health Commission of Canada).