Thursday, April 24, 2008

N.S. top public health officer defends handling of mumps outbreak

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's response to last year's mumps outbreak was handled "extremely well" and in a timely fashion, despite criticism to the contrary, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer said Wednesday.

Dr. Robert Strang, speaking Wednesday to the legislature's public accounts committee, was responding to criticism levelled by auditor general Jacques Lapointe.

In February, Lapointe said the response was "less than timely." He was also critical of the province's poor planning and its handling of vaccines.

Lapointe noted there was no plan to immunize health-care workers, something that didn't happen until nearly two months into the outbreak.

Strang told the committee that Lapointe's report didn't take into account how outbreaks develop.

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