Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

July 29, 2009 15:34 ET

Government of Canada Releases Guidance on H1N1 Infection Prevention and Control Measures

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 29, 2009) - The Government of Canada has released three guidance documents for health care workers and emergency responders to prevent and control infections of H1N1 influenza, Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, stated today.

"We are committed to ensuring that our front line health care workers are aware of the personal protection measures they need to take in order to stay healthy during the H1N1 influenza outbreak," said Minister Aglukkaq.

The guidance documents are for workers in acute care facilities, long term facilities, and for emergency response workers including paramedics, ambulance attendants, police officers and firefighters. They were developed collaboratively with the provinces and territories and infection control experts from across Canada, and are designed to slow the transmission of the virus. They address issues such as the use of masks and gloves, the need for early patient assessments, information sharing and appropriate use of isolation.

The guidance document for first responders includes advice on assessing patients in acute emergency situations, which often require emergency personnel to work in enclosed spaces in close proximity to individuals who may be infectious. It also includes advice for dispatchers of emergency personnel. "With this guidance, for example, a dispatcher will be able to screen calls concerning H1N1 using the criteria and questions included, then alert emergency personnel that they may be responding to a call that requires the use of personal prevention measures," said Dr. Butler-Jones.

The guidance document for health care workers in long term care facilities covers issues such as screening visitors, staff and residents, and the cleaning and disinfection of equipment. It also provides advice on procedures for social activities and outside appointments, and the appropriate use of influenza isolation areas.

The guidance document for workers in acute care facilities updates advice issued in May for medical clinics and hospital emergency wards. "We will continue to update these documents and issue new guidance material on mass gatherings, for businesses, for travellers, for public transit authorities and for other sectors as we learn more about the H1N1 virus," said Minister Aglukkaq.

The guidance documents are available on the website of the Public Health Agency of Canada, at www.publichealth.gc.ca.

For more information on the Canadian response to the H1N1 flu virus, please visit www.fightflu.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Office of Leona Aglukkaq
    Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    613-957-0200
    or
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    613-941-8189