Under the Infectious and Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control standard, boards of health are required to work toward reducing the burden of communicable diseases and other infectious diseases of public health significance by: responding to all reports of infectious diseases and implementing associated protocols to investigate cases, contacts, and outbreaks; working with community partners and service providers to provide infection prevention and control (IPAC) education; responding to outbreaks and providing outbreak prevention, management, and control; and by managing all zoonotic and vector-borne diseases (ZVBD) of public health significance.
Local data that influences program implementation include:
- There were 2,194 cases of diseases of public health significance reported in WEC in 2018. Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (e.g., Gonorrhea) accounted for approximately 60% of all cases.
- In 2018, respiratory diseases (e.g., Pertussis) were the second most common type of diseases, accounting for 18% of all reportable cases.
- In 2018, 26 mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) and 13 human cases of WNV were reported. In 2019 one mosquito pool tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
- Since 2016, invasive mosquito species Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, vectors of the Zika virus, have been identified in WEC (the first in Canada).
- The total number of ticks submitted through passive surveillance increased from 94 in 2013 to 338 in 2018 (a 260% increase).