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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.

Health Topics

A (9) | B (4) | C (13) | D (1) | E (6) | F (2) | G (3) | H (14) | I (6) | L (6) | M (8) | N (1) | O (1) | P (4) | R (4) | S (7) | T (5) | U (1) | V (3) | W (2) | Y (2) | Z (1)
An alphabetical listing of Health Topics.
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Emergency Preparedness

You may not be able to predict when a disaster will happen, but there are ways you can reduce the impact of any emergency you might face.  You can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies by taking a few simple steps:

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin rash that can go on for a long time and does not completely go away. It usually begins in childhood, but can occur in adults as well. The exact cause of eczema is unknown.

Ebola

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.

E. Coli

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.

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a bacterium that releases a toxin into the infected person’s body. Diphtheria affects the upper respiratory tract. A greyish coloured membrane forms at the back of the throat. The membrane can make it difficult to breathe or swallow.

Cyclosporiasis

Cyclospora is a parasite that causes an illness in the intestines called cyclosporiasis.

Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes diarrhea in humans and animals. When a person gets sick, the infection is called cryptosporidiosis. Once infected, the parasite lives in the intestine and passes in the stool. Both the disease and the parasite are commonly known as “crypto.”

Concussion

A concussion is a brain injury. It’s the result of a strong force being passed on directly or indirectly to the head or the body that shakes the brain within the skull.

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.

Cold-related Injury

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.

Cholera

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.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacteria that is spread by sexual contact with an infected person.

Chikungunya 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.

Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a very contagious and common illness with rash and fever caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Chickenpox illness usually lasts about 5 to 10 days and is usually a mild infection, however, it can be life-threatening to some.

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.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless gas. It can be dangerous to be exposed to low levels of the gas for long periods of time.

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.

Campylobacter

Campylobacter enteritis is an infection caused by a group of bacteria, called Campylobacter.  These germs live mostly in the intestines of animals, including poultry, cattle, rodents, and household pets.

Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that occurs most often in people who work with livestock or in slaughterhouses, or who consume unpasteurized dairy products.

Botulism

Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning that can cause death and paralysis.

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.

Bed Bugs

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.

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.

Asthma

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.

Asian tiger 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.

Asbestos

Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that are shaped like long, thin fibres that were used to make products strong, long-lasting and fire-resistant.

Anthrax

Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

Animal Bite

If you’re bitten or scratched by a domestic or wild animal, seek immediate medical attention and report the incident to us.

Amebiasis

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.

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.

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.