|Wikileaks:||View 03OTTAWA185 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||TBIO SENV CA Health|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS OTTAWA 000185 SIPDIS STATE FOR OES/PCI, WHA/CAN (RUNNING) HHS FOR OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (STEIGER) CDC FOR EPIDEMIOLOGY PROGRAM OFFICE E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: TBIO, SENV, CA, Health SUBJECT: WEST NILE VIRUS: ONTARIO DOCTORS MUST REPORT 1. Ontario is expected to make it mandatory soon to report human cases of West Nile Virus to the provincial Public Health Officer. "Reportable diseases" are listed in regulations made under the statutory authority of the province's Health Protection and Promotion Act. This will make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to have such a mandatory reporting requirement for West Nile Virus. According to Ontario health officials, of the States adjacent to, or adjoining Ontario; i.e., New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan - currently only New York has specific mandatory reporting requirements for human incidents of West Nile infection. 2. Reporting by physicians to their local Public Health Board is mandated by provincial legislation or regulation, rather than by federal law. As a consequence the list of diseases that are reportable can vary slightly from province to province. 3. We anticipate that Quebec is the only province likely to follow Ontario's lead in making WNV a "reportable" disease before the 2003 Mosquito season arrives. According to Health Canada figures, in 2002 the two provinces with the highest incidence of West Nile Virus infection in humans were Ontario (with 76 confirmed cases) and Quebec (with only 7 confirmed cases). In each province one death was confirmed due to West Nile Virus in 2002. The third highest incidence of human West Nile Virus infection was noted in the province of Alberta with one case - and authorities there have concluded that this individual likely acquired the infection outside of Alberta. 4. Ontario's chief public health official, Dr. Colin D'Cunha noted that a significant concern that has driven the province to make WNV reportable is the fact that WNV is transmissible via donated blood. As well, D'Cunha said that knowledge of how many people in a particular community are showing symptoms of WNV would aid decision-makers when they consider measures, such as spraying insecticide, to reduce the mosquito population. 5. The Canadian federal list of reportable/notifiable diseases does not currently include West Nile Virus, although the federal government does collect data from the provinces. Indeed, in Canada reporting by the provinces of reportable diseases (also referred to as notifiable diseases) to the Federal Government's Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control is voluntary. A consensus of federal and provincial health officials' opinion sets the list and as noted in paragraph 2, provincial authorities make the necessary change to their laws and regulations to mandate physician reporting to provincial authorities. Although there is currently no statutory authority at the federal level to make disease reporting by physicians mandatory to federal authorities, Health Canada officials told us that legislation is being drafted that would have this effect. Post will monitor developments. Cellucci
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