Category Archives: Alert

Boil Water Advisory Issued in Burstall

Update: February 6, 2017 at 8:25am

The emergency boil water advisory in the Town of Burstall has been removed.  Subsequent repeat water samples on February 1 and 2 indicated that bacteria levels are within acceptable levels.

It is now safe to resume consumption of water from the Town of Burstall’s public water supply.

Original message: February 1, 2017 at 1:30pm

A boil water advisory has been activated in the Town of Burstall.

The Cypress Health Region has learned that a water sample tested positive for E.coli in the Town’s public water supply.  Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer, has thus issued an emergency boil water order to the Town and its residents.

Residents who access Burstall’s public water supply are to discontinue the use of this water without first boiling it for at least one minute at a rolling boil.

This emergency boil water order remains in effect until safe water is evidenced.

Boil water advisory detail

Users of the Town of Burstall’s water supply are notified to:

  • boil all water, used for drinking purposes, for at least one (1) minute, at a rolling boil, prior to use;
  • boil water to be used for other activities where it may be ingested, including:
    • brushing teeth or soaking false teeth;
    • washing fruits and vegetables;
    • food or drink which will not be subsequently heated; and
    • ice cubes;
  • not drink from any public drinking fountains supplied with water from the public water supply;
  • under most circumstances, there is not a need to boil water used for other household purposes. Adults, adolescents, and older children may shower, bathe, or wash using tap water but should avoid swallowing the water.
  • ensure that younger children and infants are sponge bathed;
  • use an alternative water source known to be safe, if they do not wish to boil the water; and
  • consult with your physician if you experience any vomiting, diarrhea, or other enteric type symptoms. Also if you have cuts or rashes that are severe before using the water.

In addition to the above, all dishes and utensils should be soaked in a bleach water solution (approximately 2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon or 10 ml of bleach per liter of water) for at least two minutes after being washed to kill any bacteria which may be present.

About E.coli

Escherichia coli, usually called E. coli, refers to a large group of bacteria that is commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. E.coli can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.   Serious complications of an E.coli infection can include kidney failure. Most individuals with E.coli fully recover within 5 to 10 days. The very young and elderly are at greater risk of severe symptoms.

Generally, the disease must run its course. Treatment for those infected with E. coli includes drinking plenty of liquids to replace the body fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting, and to avoid dehydration. The most helpful fluids for protecting against dehydration are oral rehydration fluids. These products are sold as pre-mixed fluids and are commonly found in drug stores. Other drinks that do not contain caffeine or alcohol can also help with mild dehydration; however, these drinks may not replace the nutrients and minerals lost during illness.

Young children, the elderly and people with other illnesses are at greatest risk for dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include a decrease in urination, a dry mouth, and throat and dizziness upon standing. A dehydrated child may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy. Severe dehydration can be serious and the ill person may require re-hydration in a hospital. If you think you or someone under your care is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider.

Antibiotics are not used to treat the illness, as they may increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome.

To read more about boil water advisories issued through the Public Health department please visit our water quality page.

Warning W-18 – A New Illegal Synthetic Street Drug Discovered

Morphine and fentanyl are opioid pain medications. Fentanyl, which is 50 – 100 times more potent than morphine, has been in headlines due to improper use, as well as being made and sold illegally. Now W-18, a new illegal synthetic street drug that was recently discovered in Kerrobert, SK, has been reported to be as much as 10,000 times more active (powerful) than morphine.

Drugs of this potency require extreme caution, both for the public and for health providers who may treat a patient suspected of W-18 use.  W-18 is believed to be so powerful that it poses a threat to someone who may simply handle or come in contact with it without wearing proper protection. Steps have been taken in Saskatchewan to notify physicians, emergency room staff, and other healthcare professionals about the dangers of coming into contact with this synthetic chemical.

W-18 is new and is not yet well known. There is a current lack of data about its toxicity and effects. W-18 was initially developed for its pain killing potential, however there are no published studies or case reports regarding legitimate uses for W-18.

Please be careful.  Do not engage with any illicit drug activity.

To access local support for mental health and addictions please call our intake team at 1-877-329-0005 or visit   For more information on alcohol and drug use please visit


Incident at Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre Regarding Strange Odours Now Resolved

Updated: December 14, 2016 at 4:35pm

After careful investigation it has been determined that plugged sewer vent stacks, which were blocked with ice due to build-up from the recent cold weather, were the sole cause of today’s incident at the Shaunavon Hospital.

Crews are still on site removing the blockages and making minor repairs. The emergency operations centre (EOC) is being revoked and the facility will return to normal operations as of 5:00pm with the re-opening of the acute care and primary health care areas.

We would like to extend our thanks to our staff and supporting businesses who worked on and resolved this incident promptly. We also extend our appreciation to residents of Shaunavon and surrounding areas for the patience that was shown and also for helping to share the message with others.

Updated: December 14, 2016 at 2:30pm

Earlier today we announced that a situation had arisen at the Shaunavon Hospital in which strange and strong odours were detected in the acute and primary health care areas.  After Sask Energy determined that this was not a natural gas leak our staff conducted thorough investigations and concluded that these odours were likely being caused by venting stacks that were blocked on the rooftop due to ice buildup related to the recent stretch of cold weather.  The venting stacks, which were not able to adequately pass ventilating sewer gas, were thus releasing these sewer odours back into the facility.

Upon learning of this a steam truck was immediately hired and on site to clear the ice blockages.  We do not believe that there is any imminent threat to the facility’s acute care wing and are optimistic that this will be fully resolved before the end of the day. We will continue to utilize our emergency operations centre (EOC) protocols until we are confident that we are completely clear of this incident.

Emergency services are still available at the facility and, as a further precaution, are being directed through the long term care wing.  Should you have a medical emergency in the Shaunavon area please go to the Shaunavon Hospital and access emergency services through the facility’s long term care door.  Signage is posted at the facility to indicate this.

Further updates will be posted as they become available.

Updated: December 14, 2016 at 9:55am.

We are aware of a situation at the Shaunavon Hospital today regarding a strong odour coming from the acute care and primary health care clinic areas.

The emergency department at the Shaunavon Hospital remains open but is being temporarily relocated to the long term care side of the building.  If you have an emergency please go to the Shaunavon Hospital and enter through the long term care door.  Emergency Medical Services (ambulance) are being redirected to Swift Current.

Sask Energy has been on site and there is no indication of a gas leak. The fire department is also on scene and are indicating that the odor is coming from the basement directly below the acute care area.  They are working to determine the definitive source of the odor.

Our appropriate staff are being deployed to the facility and we have established our emergency operations centre as a precautionary measure to ensure all necessary resources are available.

We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

Recall on Swagway X1 Hands-Free Smartboard Self-Balancing Scooters/Hoverboards

Health Canada has announced the recall of Swagway X1 Hands-Free Smartboards, also known as hoverboards.

Hoverboards have two wheels at either end of a platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs. The Swagway brand X1 hoverboard has the word “Swagway” on the front of the hoverboard and comes in gold, black, white, blue, green, red or pink colours.

The lithium-ion battery in the hoverboard can overheat, posing a potential burn and fire hazard.  In the United States, there have been 42 reports of the battery packs smoking, catching fire and/or exploding, including 16 reports of injuries, such as burns to the neck, leg and arm, or severe property damage.

Approximately 5,000 of the recalled hoverboards have been sold in Canada between September 2015 and July 2016.  The recalled hoverboards were sold from September 2015 to July 2016 online and at various stores.

For details on this recall visit

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Cases Currently in South West Saskatchewan including Cypress Health Region

Some cases of whooping cough, (Pertussis) have been identified in South West Saskatchewan, including the Cypress Health Region.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious and serious infection of the lungs and throat.  It is easily spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or has close contact with others. Young unimmunized children get sicker than older children and adults.

Vaccines for whooping cough are a part of the routine childhood immunization program, as well as boosters for young and older adults.

The public is strongly encouraged to ensure that their and their children’s vaccinations are up to date to ensure best protection.  Expecting mothers are also strongly encouraged to check their immunizations.  If unsure if your immunizations are up to date, you can call your local public health office using the numbers listed on our website.

Whooping cough starts like a common cold with symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, mild fever, and a mild cough. During the next week or two the cough gets worse, leading to severe coughing spells that often end with a whooping sound before the next breath. Serious complications of whooping cough, which most often occur in infants, may include apnea (breathing stops), pneumonia, convulsions/seizures, and encephalopathy (brain damage) that may be permanent. Whooping cough can result in severe complications and death.

For more information on Whooping cough (Pertussis) please visit the Government of Saskatchewan website.



Illnesses Related to Consumption of ‘Raw Milk’

Recently public health inspectors with the Cypress Health Region have been following up on a cluster of illnesses related to the consumption of ‘raw milk’.  While the Cypress Health Region is confident that this is a confined incident and that there is very little risk to the public, the region would like to remind everyone that the consumption of raw milk is a high risk activity that is proven to cause illness.  The sale of raw milk is illegal in Canada.

Raw milk is milk from cows, goats, or sheep that has not been pasteurized. Because it has not been pasteurized it carries a high risk of containing germs that can cause foodborne illness.  Pasteurization is a process where heat is used to kill germs that cause disease while keeping the nutrients of milk intact. It also destroys spoilage causing enzymes and bacteria in milk, increasing the milk’s shelf life.

Milk is a nutrient rich food that provides 9 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamins A, B12, and D, high quality protein, potassium, and others.  Please continue to enjoy pasteurized milk!


Norovirus Outbreak Declared Over – Visitation Resumes at Swift Current Care Centre

Update: February 10 at 11:00am

Please be advised that the outbreak at the Swift Current Care Centre has been rescinded and visitation at the facility may now resume.

The health region would like to thank the general public for adhering to the visitation restrictions during the outbreak.  Thanks is also extended to the staff and public health/inspection control teams for their diligence in working to rescind the outbreak as quickly as possible.

While visitation has now resumed, Norovirus and other illnesses continue to circulate in our communities.  Frequent and proper handwashing are very important to eliminate the spreading of illnesses.  In particular, the health region asks anyone visiting a health facility to please wash your hands thoroughly prior to leaving your home and wash your hands again upon entering the facility.  If you are feeling ill, please stay home until you are feeling well.

Update – February 2, 2016 at 3:10pm

Results from the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory in Regina have identified and confirmed Norovirus to be the causation of an outbreak at the Swift Current Care Centre.  The outbreak remains in effect.

Noroviruses are very contagious and can easily spread from person to person.  Proper handwashing is critical to the reduction of spreading of noroviruses.  With confirmed norovirus cases in the Cypress Health Region, the public is asked to frequently and properly wash their hands.  This includes using warm, soapy water for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Hand sanitizers are not a replacement for proper handwashing and should be used only if access to handwashing supplies is not available.

Individuals can become infected with a norovirus in several ways, such as through direct contact with another person who is infected, by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus, or eating food and drinking water that has been contaminated.

There are presently 4 residents at the Swift Current Care Centre who are experiencing signs and symptoms of the illness.  Visitation remains restricted in order to reduce the risk of illness being brought into or taken out of the facility.

As part of the Region’s outbreak protocols, infection control practices have been enhanced at the Swift Current Care Centre.  Any staff who are ill are being advised to stay home and not return to work until they are asymptomatic for a minimum of 72 hours.

The health region would like to thank the public for adhering to the visitor restrictions that have been put in place.  Appreciation is also extended to staff and the region’s Public Health/Infection Control teams who are working diligently to eliminate the illness from the facility as quickly as possible.

Norovirus Information

Noroviruses are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. The viruses are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. People exposed to the virus usually develop symptoms of illness within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can occur as soon as 12 hours after exposure. People infected with a norovirus can be contagious from the moment they start feeling ill to at least three days after they have recovered.

The most common symptoms of norovirus illness are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.  Symptoms can also include low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.

The illness often begins suddenly, about 24 to 48 hours after exposure, and the infected person may become very sick with frequent vomiting and/or diarrhea. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults.

In most healthy people, acute diarrhea and vomiting usually last 24 to 72 hours, and people normally recover within one to two days. Symptoms may last longer in some people.

Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own and no long-term health effects occurring after illness.

There is no vaccine or antiviral to prevent getting sick with a norovirus and antibiotics are not effective in treating the illness (because antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses).  However, healthy people normally recover within one or two days with symptoms resolving on their own.

Original Message – January 29, 2016 at 2:43pm

Under the guidance of Medical Health Officer Dr. David Torr, an outbreak has been declared at the Swift Current Care Centre due to the presence of enteric illness signs and symptoms amongst the facility’s long term care residents.

Due to this declaration, please consider the following:

  • Until further notice, visitation to the facility will be restricted.  The only exceptions to these restrictions will be in the event of an ‘end of life’ situation, where the nurse in charge at the facility can be contacted to discuss the options that are available for the family members to visit their loved one.
  • Outbreak has been declared due to the presence of an unconfirmed enteric illness.  Samples are being forwarded to the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory in Regina for analysis and confirmation of the illness type.
  • Presently, there are 6 long term care residents within the facility who have been identified as meeting the signs and symptoms of this illness.
  • Enhanced cleaning and infection control protocols have been implemented within the facility in an attempt to remove the illness.

Public Health and Infection Control Team members are actively involved and are providing guidance into the ongoing steps being taken to eradicate the illness.  The health region is strongly emphasizing that everyone do what they can to prevent the spread of illness/sickness to others.  Frequent and proper handwashing, staying home when ill, and enhanced cleaning of hard surfaces within your homes/businesses should always be the normal practice.

This page will be updated with further details as they become available.

Zika Virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has recently confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus from Central and South America. Since Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites, travellers to Central and South America, particularly pregnant women or those considering becoming pregnant, should protect themselves from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes known to transmit the virus to humans are not present in Canada.

The risk of Zika virus to non-travelling residents of Saskatchewan is considered low.

Zika virus has been reported in Africa and parts of Asia since the 1950s, and in the southwestern Pacific Ocean in 2007. In 2015, Zika virus emerged in South America with widespread outbreaks reported in Brazil and Colombia.

In November 2015, a Brazilian investigation indicated an average twenty-fold increase in the incidence of microcephaly (abnormally small head) among newborns born in areas where Zika virus was known to be in circulation. Although there is mounting evidence to warrant concern, the investigation is ongoing to confirm whether Zika virus may be the cause of these microcephaly cases.

Only one in four people infected with Zika virus are believed to develop symptoms. These include: low-grade fever, joint pain, red eyes, rash and generalized symptoms such as muscle pain, physical weakness, lack of energy and headaches.

The incubation period of Zika virus ranges from 3 to 12 days. The disease symptoms are usually mild and last for 2 to 7 days. Most people recover fully without severe complications, and hospitalization rates are low. Zika virus infection may go unrecognized or be misdiagnosed as dengue, chikungunya or other viral infections causing fever and rash.

Currently, there is no prophylaxis, vaccine or treatment for Zika virus. Treatment is generally limited to symptom relief.


Recall of Booster Seats Sold at Canadian Tire

TransInjury Alert – Child Car Seat Resources Updateport Canada and Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd wish to inform the public of non-compliances of booster seats imported by Canadian Tire. Specifically, neither the Apramo nor the Kukuxumusu branded booster seats meet the stiffness requirements of the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations. Furthermore, the Kukuxumusu branded booster seats do not conform to the flammability requirements of the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations.

Transport Canada’s compliance testing program revealed these concerns and notified the company. The regulations require booster seats to comply with a test that measures their stiffness. If a booster seat does not meet this requirement, there is an increased risk of injury in the event of a vehicle collision. Additionally, in the event of a vehicle fire, the fabric covers of the Kukuxumusu booster seats may not self-extinguish or may burn too quickly, accelerating the spread of the fire.

For more details on this recall please visit Transport Canada’s website alert.

Bothwell Brand Shredded Cheese Products Recalled

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that Bothwell Cheese Inc. has initiated a recall of certain Bothwell brand shredded cheese products from the marketplace.  The preventative recall has been initiated due to a possible Listeria monocytogenese contamination risk.

The CFIA website can be visited to obtain more information on the specific products that have been part of this recall – please visit