Full Report: PDF
Report Contents
Health Unit Profiles
» Group A - Population Health
 –  Teen Pregnancy
 –  Low Birth Weight
 –  Breastfeeding Duration
 –  Postpartum Contact
 –  Smoking Prevalence
 –  Youth Lifetime Smoking
 –  Adult Heavy Drinking
 –  Youth Heavy Drinking
 –  Physical Activity Index
 –  Healthy Body Mass Index
 –  Fruit and Vegetable
 –  Fall-Related Hospitalizations
     Among Seniors
 –  Enteric Illnesses Incidence
 –  Respiratory Infection
     Outbreaks in Long-Term
     Care Homes
 –  Chlamydia Incidence
 –  Immunization Coverage of
     Hepatitis B
 –  Immunization Coverage of
     Measles, Mumps and Rubella
 –  Adverse Water Quality
» Group B - Governance and
   Accountability Indicators
Case Studies
Supporting Documents
Initial Report on Public Health
Enteric Illnesses Incidence

The enteric illnesses age-standardized incidence rate estimates the total number of reported cases of selected enteric illnesses per 100,000 population.

Enteric illnesses are frequently characterized by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, and other symptoms. They can be transmitted via ingestion of contaminated food or water, exposure to infected vomit or feces, direct or indirect contact with infected persons or animals, or contaminated objects. Enteric illnesses are typically caused by pathogens such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli. Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems, are at greater risk for complications from these pathogens, which can result in significant morbidity and mortality.

Enteric diseases are generally under-reported. Many individuals who acquire an enteric disease do no seek medical attention, or do not submit a laboratory specimen to confirm the existence of the disease. Studies estimate that for each reported case of enteric illness, there are at least several hundred undiagnosed or unreported cases in the community. 104

An important role of public health is to increase public awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, food safety and safe food handling practices, and the safe use of drinking and recreational water to reduce the spread of enteric diseases in the community. Public health programs and services aimed at reducing enteric illnesses include:

  • inspecting regulated establishments, such as food premises and recreational waters, for compliance with the HPPA
  • conducting local and provincial surveillance of enteric diseases
  • investigating enteric illnesses and outbreaks
  • educating the public regarding enteric disease prevention
  • providing food-safety training programs for food-handlers
  • educating drinking water system operators

In 2007, the reported incidence rate of cases of selected enteric illnesses in Ontario was 88.7 per 100,000 population. Based on 36 public health units in Ontario, the highest incidence rate was 164.1 and the lowest was 40.0 cases of selected enteric illnesses, per 100,000 population.

Indicator Definition


The enteric illnesses age-standardized incidence rate estimates the total number of reported cases of selected enteric illnesses per 100,000 population.

Selected reporting fields include:

  • Amebiasis
  • Botulism
  • Campylobacter Enteritis
  • Cholera
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Cyclosporariasis
  • Food Poisoning, All Causes
  • Gastroenteritis, Institutional Outbreaks
  • Giardiasis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Listeriosis
  • Paratyphoid fever
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Shigellosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Verotoxin producing E.coli including Hemolytic Uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • Yersiniosis

Data Source(s):

Numerator: Integrated Public Health Information System, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Denominator: Population Estimates, Provincial Health Planning Database, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


Total number of new reported cases of selected enteric illnesses (2007 Calendar year)

Total population (2007 Calendar year)
x 100,000


  • Data was extracted on February 3, 2009 from the Integrated Public Health Information System
  • Includes both sporadic and outbreak reportable enteric cases that met the provincial surveillance case definition
  • Age groups in years used for direct age-standardization: 0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90+
  • Direct age-standardization to the 1991 Canadian population

104 Majowicz SE, Edge VL, Fazil A, et al. Estimating the under-reporting rate for infectious gastrointestinal illness in Ontario. Can J Public Health. 2005;96(3):178-81.