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Communicable Disease/Infection Control Topics - Physician Information

Physicians must contact the Halton Health Department in the case of:

Diseases of public health significance

How to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases:

  • Contact the Communicable Disease Reporting Line with details ready

    Include the following details:

    • Case’s name
    • Date of birth
    • Disease (specify if suspect or confirmed)
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Specimens taken, if any
    • Physician‘s name
    • Name of person reporting, designation, and contact information (backline if available)
    • Dial 905 825 6000 or 311, ext. 7341
    • Fax 905 825 8797.
    • Line is answered Monday-Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • After hours call 905 825 6000 or 311.

Communicable Disease/Infection Topics Spotlight:

  • Lyme disease
    August 1, 2018
    • The number of tick submissions between May to July this year has continued to increase compared to the same time period in previous years.The majority of ticks submitted to the Health Department have been American dog ticks, which do not transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
    • In Ontario, blacklegged (deer) ticks are the only type of tick that transmits the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
    • The risk of human infection is greater the longer a tick is attached to a person. Infection requires that a tick be attached for 24 hours or more.
    • Ticks removed from a patient can be placed in a screw cap container and submitted to the Halton Region Health Department to be sent for identification and testing. Please refer to Halton’s Submit-a-tick program.
    • Public Health Ontario has recently released an updated map with estimated risk areas (PDF file) for blacklegged ticks in Ontario.
    • Diagnosis of Lyme disease, particularly in the early stage, is based primarily on clinical symptoms and epidemiological risk factors.  A thorough history of travel and activities should be discussed to determine potential increased risk of exposure. Please refer to the Health Quality Ontario guidance document: Clinical Guidance Document on Management of Tick Bites and Investigation of Early Localized Lyme Disease (PDF file).
    • Report all suspected or confirmed cases of Lyme disease to the Halton Region Health Department immediately. Call 311, 905-825-6000 or toll free at 1-866-442-5866. For more information and additional resources, visit

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) for health professionals

  • The IPAC webpage has information and resources for health professionals, including:
    • Manuals, guides and reports
    • Physician/dental office resources
    • Reprocessing of medical devices
    • Clinic/ambulatory care resources
    • Related associations and networks

Tuberculosis: Screening and treatment resources

  • The Tuberculosis page contains information and resources for health professionals, including:
    • the role of Halton Region Health Department Tuberculosis Program
    • TB screening and treatment resources
    • related links

Role of Halton Region Health Department:

  • Investigating all reports of confirmed and suspected cases of reportable diseases in the community and within institutions.

    Schools, licensed daycares, hospitals, long-term care homes, and retirement homes

  • Report cases to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and/or Pubic Health Ontario for on-going surveillance and identification of outbreaks.
  • Inspecting institutions, premises or facilities where cases and/or disease transmission is suspected.

How Public Health supports physicians offices

  • Issue Physician Advisories and Outbreak Bulletins.
  • Managing cases and contacts. Includes:
    • Recommendations to physicians about treatment and chemoprophylaxis
    • Advice on required testing and/or specimen sample submission
    • Recommendations about infection prevention and control measures
    • Advice on immunization or immune-globulin to cases and contacts
    • Counselling for cases and contacts about disease prevention
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Lyme Disease


West Nile Virus (WNV)

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1 A physician or registered nurse in the extended class who, while providing professional services to a person, forms the opinion that the person is or may be infected with an agent of a communicable disease shall, as soon as possible after forming the opinion, report thereon to the medical officer of health of the health unit in which the professional services are provided. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7, s. 26; 2007, c. 10, Sched. F, s. 4.