Health professionals work together with public health to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases in our communities. The Health Protection and Promotion Act outlines which communicable diseases are designated as Diseases of Public Health Significance in Ontario.

These diseases or suspected occurrences of these diseases, must be reported to the Health Unit by health care providers, laboratories, administrators of hospitals, schools, and institutions. The public health system depends upon these reports of communicable diseases to monitor the health of the community and to provide the basis for preventive action. The health unit relies on accurate and complete reporting of communicable diseases for many reasons, such as:

  • To detect outbreaks and epidemics
  • To enable timely follow-up of communicable disease reports so that further transmission is prevented
  • To facilitate the prompt implementation of appropriate public health interventions and educational efforts
  • To help target prevention programs, identify specific sub-populations at highest risk, and to use resources efficiently
  • To evaluate the success of disease control efforts
  • To facilitate epidemiological research
  • To contribute to provincial, national and international surveillance efforts.