Important Information for Registrants Regarding Enterovirus D68 and Acute Flaccid Paralysis

As regulated health professionals, it is each registrant’s responsibility to stay current on all Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and Public Health Canada bulletins regarding potential public health issues facing Ontarians. 

The College is providing the following information from the MOHLTC regarding the Enterovirus D68 and Acute Flaccid Paralysis.

Since September 17, 2014, more than 300 specimens from Ontario that have been submitted to the National Microbiology Laboratory for testing, and more than 30 have been positive for EV-D68.  Enteroviruses are very common viruses, and it is not uncommon to see an increase in enterovirus infections in the fall.  Among laboratory confirmed cases of EV-D68, several cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) have been investigated in the past weeks in Ontario.

As of December 2013, Acute Flaccid Paralysis is a reportable disease in Ontario and health care providers should report cases to their local Medical Officer of Health. It is important to note that all cases are reportable, regardless of age.

The AFP case reporting form is available at this link:
www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/PHO_AFP_Case_Report_Form.doc

Public Health Ontario has developed guidance for all public health units, as well as health professionals and health sector employers, including information on laboratory testing, AFP case reporting, signs and symptoms and infection prevention and control measures.  This can be found here.

Registrants should familiarize themselves with this information, including the signs and symptoms of both EV-D68 and AFP. It will be important to remain vigilant during any intake process with patients to ensure Massage Therapists are monitoring appropriately and either referring the patient to their family physician for further testing or reporting to their local Medical Officer of Health when necessary.

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is available to support all regulated health professionals during urgent situations that may arise and can be contacted through the Health Care Provider Hotline at 1-866-212-2272.