NCCID Disease Debriefs are designed to offer timely and up-to-date knowledge on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases for Canadian public health audiences. Disease Debriefs connect readers to clinical and public health guidance, evidence, and other sources of information.
Disease Debriefs are typically organized to answer four main public health-related questions: What are important characteristics of the disease? What is happening with current outbreaks of the disease? What is the current risk for Canadians? What measures should be taken for a suspected disease case or contact?
Our aim is to provide public health personnel with crucial information in a concise format to aid in prompt identification, treatment and management.
NCCID Disease Debriefs are not comprehensive or systematic reviews of peer-reviewed literature, but instead provide a concise reference with links to more detailed information. NCCID ensures that all information and content is accurate and from reputable sources. Information is gathered from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, information from provincial public health offices and laboratories is provided, particularly case numbers during an outbreak. Links to media reports and informational videos may be included to describe new outbreaks. In instances when only limited information is available from these sources, peer-reviewed literature, reference manuals and books, and other websites may be used.
Occasionally, web-based information is noted as archived, however NCCID has verified the credibility of the archived content and has included a note to alert readers.
NCCID acknowledges that information provided by different organizations and websites may sometimes be contradictory. Readers are encouraged to follow the links and find relevant provincial or territorial guidance as well.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a global epidemic causing a public health emergency of international concern.
This new strain of the virus has never been previously identified in humans.
Legionellosis is caused by Legionella species, small, gram-negative, aerobic bacilli that are found in natural and man-made environments such as cooling towers, potable water systems, lakes, rivers, and streams. Legionella spp. can also be found in soil.
Since 1977, 60 different Legionella species have been described to date, with 26 of them having been linked to disease in humans.
The first case of Candida auris was reported in 2009 in Japan in the ear of an infected patient. Since then, it has been reported in at least 30 countries on six continents.
In Canada, the first known case of multidrug-resistant Candida auris was reported in July 2017 in an individual who had a two-year history of recurrent ear complaints after a trip to India that included hospitalization for a brain abscess following oral surgery.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is caused by a virus within the genus Ebolavirus. Four strains of the virus (Ebola, Sudan, Taï Forest, and Bundibugyo) have been known to cause EVD in humans. The disease is rare and deadly, most commonly affecting people and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Group A streptococcus
Group A streptococcus (GAS) bacteria is a Gram positive, beta-hemolytic coccus in chains. It is responsible for a range of diseases in humans — strep throat (acute pharyngitis) and skin and soft tissue infections such impetigo and cellulitis. These can also include rare cases of invasive (serious) illnesses such as necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease) and toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted bacterial disease caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The strain T. pallidum subsp. pallidum causes venereal syphilis; T. pallidum subsp. endemicum causes endemic syphilis (bejel); T. pallidum subsp. pertenue causes yaws and T. carateum causes pinta.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. It spread through the bite of infected ticks. Ticks attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas. In most cases, the tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted.
Mobilized Colistin Resistance (MCR-1)
In November 2015, a report from China first described plasmid-mediated colistin-resistance caused by the mcr-1 gene. Following that report, retrospective investigations of historical isolates have identified the rare occurrence of mcr-1 in Enterobacteriaceae from the 1980s. Bacteria with this resistance mechanism have now been identified from humans, food, environmental samples, and food animals in at least 20 countries around the world.
Noroviruses are a cause of majority of acute gastroenteritis in humans. They are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in all age groups, and the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis among children less than 5 years of age. In addition, they are the leading cause of food-borne illness and the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food.
Pertussis, whooping cough, a contagious infection of the lungs and airways is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, a small, fastidious, Gram- negative, coccobacilli. Bordetella pertussis attaches to the cilia that line the upper respiratory tract and releases toxins which damage it and cause the airways to swell. Pertussis is primarily a toxin mediated disease. Chronic carriers of B. pertussis are uncommon.
Measles is still prevalent throughout the world especially in many developing nations, including different parts of Africa and Asia. According to WHO, measles is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in children worldwide. The majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.
The mumps infection is caused by the mumps virus, an enveloped, negative-sense, single stranded RNA virus which belongs to the Rubulavirus genus in the Paramyxoviridae family.
Typically, fever, headache, malaise and muscle aches are followed by characteristic painful swelling (inflammation) of the parotid (salivary) gland on one (more common) or both sides of the face.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans, caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, common throughout the world. They can infect humans and animals. In humans, coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness, but some can cause severe illness such as the one that caused SARS in 2003.
Enterovirus D68 (EV- D68) shares biologic and epidemiologic features with human rhinoviruses (HRV). They are a species within the Enterovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family.
Approximately 100 serotypes of nonpolio enteroviruses have been recognized; EV-D68 (identified in 1962) has been one of the less commonly identified and reported.