Swine Flu Information

Attached is a Proper Handwashing poster.  The poster is available in 4 languages; English, Ojibway, Cree and Oji-cree.

The six steps are:

  1. Wet hands
  2. Use liquid soap
  3. Lather, rub and count to 20
  4. Rinse
  5. Towel or air dry hands
  6. Turn off taps with towel or sleeve

Stop the spread of germs thatmake you and others sick!Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze OR cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

Put your used tissue in the waste basket.

You may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others.

Clean your Hands after coughing or sneezing.

Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds OR clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner.

The attached poster is available in 4 languages; English, Ojibway, Cree and Oji-cree.

Download the attached document for instruction on caring for H1N1 flu cases and contacts.

  • Instruction for Confirmed or Suspect H1N1 Cases
  • Instruction for Contacts of H1N1 Cases
  • Instruction for Caregivers of H1N1 Cases

Source: Interim Guidelines for Cases and Contacts were provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care - April 30, 2009

The document is available in 4 languages; English, Ojibway, Cree and Oji-cree.

TO: NAN First Nations, Tribal Councils and NAN Members
FROM: Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler
UPDATE RE: H1N1 Influenza A Virus (Human Swine Influenza)

Thursday, April 30, 2009 as of 4:00 pm (EST)

As of April 30, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded the Phase of Pandemic Alert to Phase 5, that means that there are more H1N1 Influenza A outbreaks in more than two countries of the world now.

The WHO has also officially changed the name of the ‘swine flu' to the "H1N1 Influenza A". The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada - First Nations & Inuit Health will follow suit as well.

To date there have been 8 reported cases in Ontario of the H1N1 Influenza A. The Ontario Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Mr. David Williams states that all of the 8 cases remain mild and individuals are recovering at home (http://www.news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2009/04/one-new-confirmed-case-of-human-swine-flu-in-ontario.html).

In order to ensure consistent communications to all First Nations communities, a conference call was held today with NAN, First Nations & Inuit Health - Ontario Region (FNIH-OR), the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), and PTO representatives. As a result of today's conference calls, the most important points to note were:

  • there has been no reported cases involving First Nations
  • Canada has not declared a Pandemic Emergency
  • Communications to all First Nations communities will occur via fax from First Nations & Inuit Health - Ontario Region (Health Canada).
  • Advisories, fact sheets and other relevant information and resources are available for the public at the Ontario First Nations Pandemic website http://pandemic.knet.ca/

To ensure consistent communications of updates and issues, conference calls between NAN, FNIH-OR, COO and PTO representatives will occur on a weekly basis. From these conference calls, NAN will continue to provide updates to its member First Nations communities on the NAN website.

NAN encourages its member First Nations to continue preventative measures to protect yourself and your family, by: washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, cough and sneeze in your arm of sleeve, and receiving an annual flu shot. Keep doing what you normally do; however if you are sick, stay home. Talk to your community nurse/health professional if you experience severe flu-like symptoms.

A communiqué from Valerie Gideon, Regional Director - FNIH-OR (Health Canada) has been sent out to all First Nations communities, dated April 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm.

Please note the Swine Flu is now officially called H1N1 flu virus.

On April 29, 2009 the World Health Organization raised the global pandemic alert level to 5. No emergency declaration has been made in Canada.

There are 7 confirmed H1N1 flu virus cases in Ontario. All of the cases have mild illness and are recovering at home. Six of the 7 cases travelled to Mexico and we are waiting to find out about travel for the seventh case.

There have been no cases of H1N1 flu virus reported on reserve.

What does Pandemic Level 5 mean?

It means that there are swine flu outbreaks in more than two countries in the world. It also means that a pandemic is likely to happen. There is no need to panic but it is important for communities to be prepared.

What preparations have been made?

For the past 5 years, First Nations and Inuit Health has been working with provincial partners, Chiefs of Ontario (COO), PTOs and Independent First nations to make preparations. Arrangements have been made to ensure that First Nations have the same access to antivirals and vaccines as other Canadians.

Further information can be found in the Chapter 20 of the Ontario Pandemic Plan. It is posted on the First Nations Pandemic website: www.pandemic.knet.ca

What can communities do?

Communities should maintain standard infection control practices. Information can be found on the First Nations Pandemic Website: www.pandemic.knet.ca

Many communities have developed pandemic plans and they have been participating in table top exercises. It is now time to review these pandemic plans and make sure they are up to date and everyone knows what to do.

If you community does not have a plan, there is still time to put a plan together. If you require assistance in this, or if you have questions or concerns about your existing plan, please contact Dr. Geoff Dunkley, Community Medicine Specialist who will make arrangements to help you.  He can be reached at: 613-954-2408

Further Information

Public Enquiries Line: 1-800-454-8302 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday)

First Nations Pandemic Website: www.pandemic.knet.ca

April 28, 2009 3:55 pm

For immediate release

(OTTAWA) Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones today provided an update to Canadians on further actions that have been taken by the Government of Canada in the management of the swine flu outbreak. The federal government continues to work closely with the provinces and territories and international partners to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

The Government of Alberta has confirmed two cases, the Government of Ontario has confirmed four cases and the Government of British Columbia has confirmed one additional case of human swine influenza in each of their provinces. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Canada to 13, with four cases from Nova Scotia and two cases from British Columbia announced previously. All cases are the same strain of human swine influenza that has been found in the U.S. and Mexico. To date, all of the confirmed cases in Canada have been mild.

"Today's new cases were anticipated by public health officials and they do not change our course of action, " said Minister Aglukkaq. "We recognize that the Canadian cases have been mild to date, but we are taking this situation very seriously. An enormous amount of work is being done by health officials throughout the country to monitor the situation, plan for the future, and make the best decisions possible for the health of Canadians."

"In Canada, we are well-positioned to deal with this. We are following our national plan and working to mitigate the effects of a possible pandemic," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer. "That said, we have decided to move ahead with a travel health warning for Mexico recommending against non-essential travel to that country."

The Public Health Agency of Canada issued a travel health warning yesterday that recommends Canadians postpone non-essential travel to Mexico. Travellers arriving from Mexico are receiving information bulletins with health advice and are being screened for illness by border officers.

Canadians are encouraged to access updated information on swine flu through the Public Health Agency of Canada's website, www.phac-aspc.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-454-8302.

A backgrounder on some of the actions the federal government is taking and the measures Canadians should take to protect themselves is attached.

Media Inquiries:

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

Background on Government Actions

The Government of Canada is taking action on a number of fronts, including:

  • Public Information:
    • A travel health warning has been issued advising Canadians to postpone non-essential travel to Mexico;
    • Frequently asked questions have been posted to the Public Health Agency of Canada website www.phac.gc.ca;
    • A 1-800 information line, namely 1-800-454-8302, is available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) where Canadians can get more information;
    • An information bulletin with health advice is being distributed to incoming travellers to Canada to remind them of simple health precautions; and
    • Public health guidance documents are being provided to health care professionals.
  • Monitoring and Coordination:
    • The Government's Emergency Operations Centre has been elevated to full activation (Level 4), operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week;
    • Daily coordination and information sharing conference calls are being held with provincial and territorial public health authorities and international partners; and,
    • Officials remain vigilant in screening and reporting of unusual influenza-like illnesses, particularly in travellers returning from Mexico.
  • Laboratory Testing:
    • Provincial and territorial laboratories have been asked to send any unidentifiable influenza viruses and samples from patients with severe respiratory illnesses to Canada's National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, which is now operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week

The Public Health Agency advises Canadians to:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Cough and sneeze in your arm or sleeve
  • Keep doing what you normally do, but stay home if sick
  • Check the www.fightflu.ca for more information
  • Check www.voyage.gc.ca for travel notices and advisories
  • Talk to a health professional if you experience flu-like symptoms

All Four Cases Are Mild And Recovering At Home


Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, says there are four confirmed cases of swine flu in Ontario.

All cases involved travel to Mexico. Laboratory testing has confirmed that the swine flu virus is the same as the one in Mexico and the United States.

Three of the cases are in Durham Region and one is in York Region.

All four cases are considered mild and the individuals are recovering at home.

With the World Health Organization moving to pandemic alert level 4, Ontario now is:

  • Providing additional guidance to the health care sector in support of early identification and treatment of cases
  • Escalating communication activities to ensure the health care system and public are aware of the current situation and actions they should be taking
  • Activating its Emergency Operations Centre. The centre is supported by a scientific response team, with experts drawn from the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion and the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee, to provide Dr. Williams and other ministry officials with technical and scientific advice.

Ontario is working very closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and all provinces and territories.


"With the first confirmed cases of swine flu in Ontario, we will continue our surveillance efforts across the province using established public health practices and protocols," said Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health. "Ontarians should know that we are fully prepared should more severe cases appear in the province."

"We are fortunate to have dedicated and highly trained health care professionals who are doing all they can to meet this latest challenge," said David Caplan, Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care. "We are working closely with our national and international partners on how best to respond to this situation."


  • People who have symptoms of respiratory illness should contact their health care provider or call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
  • For general information on the swine flu, call the ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-800-476-9708.


Read about public health initiatives in the province.

Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, 416-326-3986
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
Disponible en français

As of April 27 2009, travellers from Canada are recommended to postpone elective or non-essential travel to Mexico until further notice.

For more information go to the Public Health Agency of Canada's information page here.

Also attached is the News Release from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Health Alert Notice for Arriving Travellers, the Health Alert Notice for Departing Travellers and the Health Alert Notice Onboard Announcement.

  • How many people have been affected so far in Canada?
  • What are the symptoms of human swine flu?
  • How is human swine flu spread?
  • Are all cases of human swine flu severe?
  • How can I protect myself from getting human swine flu?
  • Does Canada plan to implement any travel restrictions to the United States and Mexico?
  • If I have been to the affected areas of Mexico and/or the U.S. and I am feeling sick what should I do?
  • Where can I go to get more information?

Download the attached document for the answers to these questions.

  • What is swine influenza?
  • What are the implications for human health?
  • Where have human cases occurred?
  • How do people become infected?
  • Is it safe to eat pork meat and products?
  • What about the pandemic risk?
  • Is there a human vaccine to protect against swine influenza?
  • What drugs are available for treatment?
  • What should I do if I am in regular contact with pigs?
  • How can I protect myself from getting swine influenza from infected people?
  • What should I do if I think I have swine influenza?

Download the attached document for the full answers to these questions.