Ontario reports 277 new cases of COVID in schools and 647 schools with confirmed cases
TORONTO , May 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care says 278 new cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) have been confirmed within schools in the province, along with six more schools, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in schools to 647.
According to the latest update on the Ministry’s website, the latest confirmed cases in schools were reported on April 26.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, says it is important for parents and caregivers to heed early health warnings, especially if their child may have recently suffered respiratory symptoms, especially if they show no improvement.
“Our priority right now is the health and safety of children and young people, and for families to be made aware of what steps they should take to prevent the spread of the illness,” Dr. Hoskins said.
Dr. David Williams, Medical Officer of Health, is encouraging all health care providers, as well as parents, to continue to report any sudden onset cases to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
In April and again in May, Dr. Williams called on all Ontarians to increase awareness of the symptoms of the virus, remind friends and family to take all precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid possibly transmitting it to others, and assist in getting the word out through social media and community events.
Canada requires a minimum of nine days between the last exposure and the onset of symptoms, usually between five and seven days after the last exposure. The last confirmed case of AFM was on April 26, 2016.
The ministry continues to investigate the source of the ongoing cases in schools and schools are being sent notification letters about the investigation and various treatments available. Schools with confirmed cases are being kept informed of the progress of the investigation, and are currently conducting house-to-house assessments to investigate the cause of the illnesses.
Early detection and effective diagnosis are key to treatment in the prevention of AFM. According to the ministry, the risk of contracting the disease is much lower if parents observe some essential safety steps, such as:
taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus;
vaccinating their children against polio, rotavirus, enterovirus, or adenovirus;
keeping clean with simple and effective cleaning solutions such as bleach, alcohol-based products, and household cleaners;
practicing good hand hygiene;
taking prescribed anti-viral medication or injections when a negative result for antiviral treatment is expected.
For more information on AFM and related issues, visit http://www.healthcanada.ca/publications/alberts-principal-current-information-on-aedocysts-and-manbacandinea-irritations/