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Canadian Public Health Association

Milestones: control of infectious diseases

1867 - Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death in Canada

1897 - The first Canadian sanatorium for tuberculosis opens in Gravenhurst, Ontario, run by the Toronto-based National Sanatorium Association under the leadership of Sir William Gage.

1902 - Muskoka Free Hospital for Consumption opens, believed to be the first free sanatorium for TB treatment in the world.

1910 - The first polio outbreak in Canada is recorded.

View of penicillin vial being packed for shipment
see a larger image of penicillin vial

View of penicillin vial being packed for shipment at the Connaught Labs. Toronto, Ontario. May 1944.

1918 - A public education campaign against VD is the first shared federal-provincial health program.

1928 - Alberta opens the Provincial Special Hospital for Infantile Paralysis in Edmonton to treat the growing number of children crippled by polio.

1943 - Penicillin is used in the treatment of Canadian soldiers overseas.

1955 - The Salk polio vaccine is introduced in Canada.

1959 - The last major polio epidemic in Canada occurs, with nearly 2,000 paralytic cases.

1994 - Canada is certified "polio free" by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Photo credit

View of penicillin vial: Harry Rowed / National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada