Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

April 24, 2009 18:16 ET

Public Health Agency of Canada: Canadian Action on Human Swine Influenza

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) - Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq today re-assured Canadians that she and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) are working collaboratively with American and Mexican officials to investigate the cases of human swine influenza that have been identified in Mexico and the United States.

"We are closely coordinating our efforts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mexican Public Health Agency, and our international partners, in particular the World Health Organization," said the Health Minister. She added: "In addition, I have spoken with my provincial and territorial colleagues and told them that we are remaining vigilant but there is no immediate threat to Canadians at this time."

PHAC has also alerted other federal government partners, laboratory networks, and Quarantine Officers about the situations in Mexico and the United States. The Agency has asked officials to remain vigilant in screening and reporting of unusual influenza-like-illnesses, particularly in travellers returning from Mexico. It has also asked provincial and territorial laboratories to send any unidentifiable influenza viruses, and samples from patients with severe respiratory illness of unknown cause to PHAC's National Microbiology Laboratory for testing.

"Early detection of emerging outbreaks is essential in controlling their spread," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer. "We are partnering with our American and Mexican colleagues to share information and resources quickly and efficiently to address these situations."

There have been no confirmed cases of human swine influenza reported in Canada. Canadians are advised to take the same precautions as for seasonal influenza - getting an annual flu shot, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when ill. For those returning to Canada from Mexico, PHAC suggests that individuals contact their health care provider if they have any symptoms of respiratory illness.

PHAC continues to monitor this situation closely in collaboration with its international partners. Additional information on this situation will be shared with Canadians as it becomes available.

Contact Information

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
    Andrew McDermott
    Media Relations
    613-941-8189