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For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2002

Communicable Disease 2002 Highlights

(Brampton) - Tuberculosis is the focus of Peel Health's first annual report on the state of communicable diseases in Peel. The new report provides a local perspective on tuberculosis (TB) and a wide range of other communicable diseases.


  • In 1998, the age-standardized incidence of tuberculosis (TB) per 100,000 population was higher in Peel (9.6) than Ontario (6.5) and Canada (5.9).
  • In Peel between 1982 and 2001, the number of cases of TB almost doubled (48 to 90 cases), largely due to population growth.
  • In Peel from 1992 to 2001, the highest incidence of TB was found in those over 60 years of age. The incidence of TB in men and women in Peel was similar over this same period.
  • In Peel from 1992 to 2001, most cases of TB were in foreign-born individuals (range 89 to 97%). The majority of these cases were from three TB-endemic countries: India (31%), the Philippines (14%) and Vietnam (13%).
  • The lungs were the predominant site affected by TB in individuals in both Peel and Ontario.
  • In Peel from 1992 to 2001, 10% of TB cases tested were resistant to drugs.
    • 73% were resistant to isoniazid alone or in combination with another drug
    • 7% were multi-drug resistant (resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin)
  • The proportion of drug resistant TB cases was higher among foreign-born individuals than in those born in Canada.

Sexually-Transmitted and Bloodborne Diseases

  • In Peel, the incidence of AIDS increased slightly in 2000 and 2001 after a steady decrease between 1994 and 1999.
  • Chlamydia is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in Peel.
  • In Peel, the incidence of chlamydia increased by approximately 40% between 1996 and 2001.
  • The incidence of gonorrhea decreased from 1992 to 1997; however, incidence has increased since 1997.
  • Persons aged 15 to 24 years have the highest incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common sexually-transmitted diseases in Peel.
  • In Peel, there have been fewer than five new cases of infectious syphilis per year since 1997.
  • In Peel, the incidence of hepatitis B steadily decreased from 1995 to 1999. Incidence was stable and low in 2000 and 2001. Incidence of hepatitis B was highest among people in their 20s and 30s.
  • In Peel, hepatitis C incidence has steadily decreased since 1995. The number of reported cases jumped in 1995 when reporting of this disease became mandatory. Incidence of hepatitis C is highest in those aged 30 years and older.

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

  • The declining incidence of measles in Peel and Ontario is attributable to the implementation of the two-dose measles vaccine schedule in 1996.
  • The incidence of mumps and rubella in Peel and Ontario has also decreased since 1996 because mumps and rubella vaccines are routinely given a second time along with measles vaccine (MMR).
  • The incidence of pertussis in Peel decreased from 1992 to 2001. Children under one year of age have the highest rate of pertussis.
  • After a ten-year-high rate in the 1998/99, the incidence of influenza declined in Peel in 2000/01.
  • The reported incidence of influenza was highest in those aged less than one year and those greater than 60 years old. This finding may reflect the fact these groups that are more likely to have a serious illness from influenza and be tested.

Diseases Spread by Food and Water

  • The incidence of diseases spread by food and water is higher in Peel than Ontario, with the exception of hepatitis A and verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC).
  • The incidence of verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) and yersiniosis generally decreased between 1992 and 2001.
  • In Peel, meningococcal disease is most common among children aged less than one year, followed by those aged 15 to 19 years and one to four years.
  • The incidence of reported Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection has been steadily increasing since 1992. Part of the increase can be explained by a more inclusive case definition that has been used since 1995. Two outbreaks in 2001 raised rates in that year.
  • Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection is most common in children less than one year and those over 60 years.

For more information, call Health Line Peel at 905-799-7700 or visit www.region.peel.on.ca.

Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2215

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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