Drug warning: new potent substance circulating

The Community Drug Strategy has received multiple reports of a new potent substance circulating in the community of Sudbury.

While we cannot confirm the substance, there are reports of dye possibly being used to create various colours including blue and white in the illicit drug supply. Use of these substances may lead to the increased risks of an overdose. Multiple doses of Naloxone may be needed to reverse overdose.

This is an important reminder to the community that street drugs may be cut or mixed with substances such as fentanyl or carfentanil, and that even a very small amount of these substances can cause an overdose.

An overdose occurs when a person uses more of a substance, or a combination of substances, than their body can handle. As a consequence, the brain is unable to control basic life functions. The person might pass out, stop breathing, or experience a seizure. Overdoses can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms include:

Prevent opioid overdose and save lives:

Please distribute this information widely to help share the message.

For a free naloxone kit, contact The Point at Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Réseau Access Network, Sudbury Action Centre for Youth (SACY) or ask your local pharmacist.

http://www.ontario.ca/page/get-naloxone-kits-free


This item was last modified on October 25, 2019

First case of influenza confirmed in the community

The first laboratory confirmed case of influenza A virus has been reported in the Greater Sudbury area, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding residents that it’s not too late to get a flu shot. As of December 15, 2018, 769 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Ontario. Among these cases the majority of infections have been caused by the influenza A virus.

“Getting your flu shot is the most effective way to reduce the spread of influenza in our community—it protects you and others around you,” said Kim Presta, manager in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Clinical Services Division. “It can take up to two weeks after being vaccinated to develop ideal protection against influenza, and that’s why getting your flu shot early is so important,” said Presta.

This year the majority of flu vaccines being offered in the community protect against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. This is different than in previous years where only one influenza B strain was covered in the adult formulation of vaccine. In addition, a pain-free nasal spray vaccine is also available for children and youth aged 2 to 17 years.

People who are ill with influenza or other respiratory infections should stay home to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly. Frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a sleeve can also reduce the spread of influenza.

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue. Most people will recover from influenza infection within a week to 10 days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications such as pneumonia. Children can also have mild stomach upset due to influenza. The most common symptoms usually include fever, runny nose, and cough.

The influenza vaccine is available at many locations throughout the community including local pharmacies and health care providers’ offices. In addition, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers the vaccine at many of its locations by appointment.

For more information about the influenza vaccine, ways to prevent getting sick, as well as how to treat mild symptoms at home, visit phsd.ca or call 705.522.9200, ext. 301 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


This item was last modified on January 2, 2019

Environmental Public Health Week – The Path Forward

Environmental Public Health Week is celebrated September 24 to 28, 2018.

“The Path Forward” is this year’s Environmental Public Health Week theme and highlights the important work done by Certified Public Health Inspectors in Canada. After more than 100 years of protecting the public’s health, environmental health professionals remain committed to the pursuit of a safer tomorrow.

“The work of public health inspectors may not always be seen, but it is always there to protect you and your family,” said Stacey Laforest, Director of Environmental Health. “Public health inspectors inspect your favourite restaurants, the public pools and beaches where you and your children swim, and ensure the water you drink is safe. We are very proud of our public health inspectors and acknowledge their dedication and commitment to public health.”

This year’s theme refers to emerging issues that environmental public health practitioners across the country are becoming engaged in and how these issues can be effectively managed. One example of this is climate change and the impacts that this complex issue will have from a public health perspective.

Constant change in the environment and industry requires a dynamic understanding of human health risk and public health promotion. Public health inspectors work in partnership with other environmental and public health professionals to effectively address public health challenges and to protect and promote health and prevent disease within our communities.

For more information about Environmental Public Health Week or services provided by environmental public health professionals, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 ext. 398, toll-free 1.866.522.9200, or visit www.phsd.ca.


This item was last modified on September 24, 2018

Blue-green algal bloom reported in Lake Kagawong

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has advised Public Health Sudbury & Districts that results from samples taken September 17, 2018, from Lake Kagawong are positive for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). The samples contained a species of cyanobacteria that can produce toxins.

Blue-green algal blooms could also appear in other parts of the lake. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. New blooms can also form. All residents on lakes should look for blooms in their area.

Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins. Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible.

The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline. These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts advises people using lakes and rivers to be on the lookout for algal blooms. If you see a bloom near your property or water intake line:

On lakes and rivers where blue-green algal blooms are confirmed, people who use the surface water for their private drinking water supply may wish to consider an alternate, protected source of water.

For more information on blue-green algae, including a list and map of water bodies with confirmed blooms, please visit our website at phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 398 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


This item was last modified on September 24, 2018

Swimming advisory lifted: Greater Sudbury

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has removed the swimming advisory signs at the following beach:

The most recent water samples taken at the beach by Public Health Sudbury & Districts are within acceptable bacteriological water quality standards for bathing beaches. As a result, the beach water quality is once again considered suitable for recreational use.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts takes routine water samples every week during the summer from 35 local beaches. For information about beach water quality, visit www.phsd.ca.


This item was last modified on September 1, 2018

Public Health Sudbury & Districts issues advisory due to possible blue-green algal bloom at Amphitheater Beach on Lake Ramsey

Public Health Sudbury & Districts and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks are currently investigating a possible blue-green algal bloom at Amphitheater Beach on Lake Ramsey in Sudbury.

As a precaution, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has posted signs advising the public to avoid swimming, drinking the water, and allowing pets into the water if the algal bloom is present at the beach. If no bloom is present, water can be used for regular recreational activities.

Blue-green algal blooms could also appear in other parts of affected lakes. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. New blooms can also form. All residents on lakes or rivers should look for blooms in their area.

Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins.

The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline. These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.

For more information on blue-green algae, including a list and map of water bodies with confirmed blooms, please visit our website at phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 398 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


This item was last modified on August 16, 2018

Blue-green algal blooms reported in Lake Nepahwin and the West Arm of Lake Nipissing

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has advised Public Health Sudbury & Districts that results from samples taken August 13, 2018, from Lake Nepahwin and the West Arm of Lake Nipissing are positive for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). The samples contained a species of cyanobacteria that can produce toxins.

Blue-green algal blooms could also appear in other parts of the lakes. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. New blooms can also form. All residents on lakes should look for blooms in their area.

Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins. Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible.

The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline. These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts advises people using lakes and rivers to be on the lookout for algal blooms. If you see a bloom near your property or water intake line:

On lakes and rivers where blue-green algal blooms are confirmed, people who use the surface water for their private drinking water supply may wish to consider an alternate, protected source of water.

For more information on blue-green algae, including a list and map of water bodies with confirmed blooms, please visit our website at phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 398 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


This item was last modified on August 16, 2018

Extended heat warning: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Heat Warning, which began Sunday, August 12, 2018, is being extended given the hot, humid weather in the forecast. Extended Heat Warnings remain in effect while the weather stays at 29 degrees Celsius or above during the day and 18 degrees Celsius or above at night or the humidex reaches 36 or above.

“Frequently check on your friends, neighbours, and relatives, especially if they are at higher risk of heat-related illness to ensure that they are staying cool and hydrated,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Environmental Health Division.

Continuous exposure to high levels of heat can lead to dehydration and illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), and even death. People who are at higher risk include, older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat. Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.

Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you or someone in your care experiences these symptoms, contact a health care professional, friend, or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.

Take precautions and stay cool during this time of high temperatures. Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place, for example, in a tree-shaded area, swimming facility, or an air-conditioned public building, shopping mall, grocery store, place of worship, or public library. Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Avoid sun exposure by shading yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella, and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.

In addition to general heat-related information, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers information on beating the heat in apartment buildings, keeping your pets safe, doing outdoor activities in heat and smog, and keeping your children safe during hot weather.

For more information on Heat Warnings and preventing heat-related illness, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200)  or visit phsd.ca.


This item was last modified on August 14, 2018

Extended heat warning: Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Heat Warning, which began Friday, June 29, 2018, is being extended given the hot, humid weather in the forecast. Extended Heat Warnings remain in effect while the weather stays at 29 degrees Celsius or above during the day and 18 degrees Celsius or above at night or the humidex reaches 36 or above.

“Frequently check on your friends, neighbours, and relatives, especially if they are at higher risk of heat-related illness to ensure that they are staying cool and hydrated,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Environmental Health Division.

Continuous exposure to high levels of heat can lead to dehydration and illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), and even death. People who are at higher risk include, older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat. Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.

Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you or someone in your care experiences these symptoms, contact a health care professional, friend, or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.

Take precautions and stay cool during this time of high temperatures. Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place, for example, in a tree-shaded area, swimming facility, or an air-conditioned public building, shopping mall, grocery store, place of worship, or public library. Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Avoid sun exposure by shading yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella, and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.

In addition to general heat-related information, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers information on beating the heat in apartment buildings, keeping your pets safe, doing outdoor activities in heat and smog, and keeping your children safe during hot weather.

For more information on Heat Warnings and preventing heat-related illness, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200)  or visit phsd.ca.


This item was last modified on July 16, 2018

Heat warning: Thursday, June 28, 2018

With hot, humid weather in the forecast for the next few days, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a Heat Warning for areas within Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area beginning Friday, June 29, 2018. Heat Warnings are issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada when the forecast rises for two days to 29 degrees Celsius or above during the day and 18 degrees Celsius or above at night or the humidex is 36 or above.

Continuous exposure to high levels of heat can lead to dehydration and illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), and even death. People who are most at risk include, older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat. Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.

“Although some individuals are at higher risk, anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Environmental Health Division. “Everyone should take precautions.”

Tips to prevent heat-related illness:

Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. They include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you or someone in your care experiences these symptoms, contact a health care professional, friend, or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.

In addition to general heat-related information, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers information on beating the heat in apartment buildings, keeping your pets safe, doing outdoor activities in heat and smog, and keeping your children safe during hot weather.

Call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit phsd.ca for more information.


This item was last modified on July 16, 2018

Avoid heat-related illness with rising summer heat

As hot, humid weather arrives, anyone can experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People who are most at risk include older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat. Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.

Early summer is a time of increased risk from heat because your body has not yet adapted to the heat.

Tips to prevent heat-related illness:

Tips for children:

Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness:

If you or someone in your care has these symptoms, contact a health care professional, friend, or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.

As part of the Hot Weather Response Plan, prepared by the City of Greater Sudbury and Public Health Sudbury & Districts, information is provided to keep the public safe from hot, humid weather. In addition to general heat-related information, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers information on beating the heat in apartment buildings, keeping your pets safe, doing outdoor activities in heat and smog, and keeping your children safe during hot weather.

Call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit www.phsd.ca for more information.


This item was last modified on June 27, 2018

Drug Alert: purple heroin “purp” with carfentanil

Public Health Sudbury & Districts and Greater Sudbury Police Service, on behalf of the Community Drug Strategy for the City of Greater Sudbury, are warning the public that carfentanil has been confirmed in purple heroin seized in Greater Sudbury in December 2017 and January 2018.

The purple heroin, also known as “purp”, has been confirmed by Health Canada to contain carfentanil. Carfentanil is an opioid that is used by veterinarians for very large animals like elephants. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. An amount the size of a grain of salt, or 20 micrograms could be fatal to a person.

This is a health and safety alert and does not provide an update on the status of any ongoing police investigations.

Overdose symptoms include:

If you are using drugs, please do so safely:

For a free naloxone kit, contact Réseau ACCESS Network at 705.688.0500 or ask your local pharmacist.

About carfentanil


This item was last modified on October 25, 2019