Canada’s annual flu season is again.
“At the nationwide degree, influenza exercise has crossed the seasonal threshold, indicating the beginning of an influenza epidemic,” the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) mentioned in its weekly FluWatch report, posted on Monday.
“All surveillance indicators are growing and most are above anticipated ranges typical of this time of 12 months.”
Indicators embrace individuals self-reporting cough and fever at ranges past typical for this time of 12 months and visits to medical doctors for flu-like signs.
Localized flu exercise was reported in areas of New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It was spreading much less generally in areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the report mentioned.
Public well being officers have warned that hospitals throughout Canada are already overburdened with RSV, flu, COVID-19 and different infections.
The viruses are approaching high of staffing shortages, burnout amongst health-care professionals, children’ remedy shortages and a scarcity of household physicians and different major care suppliers.
This 12 months’s flu season additionally began “greater than a month sooner than sometimes noticed in pre-pandemic seasons.”
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, flu didn’t flow into in Canada.
Influenza was additionally at historic lows in each the Northern and Southern hemispheres final 12 months as public well being measures like staying dwelling when sick, masking, bodily distancing and lockdowns had been in place to cease the unfold of COVID-19, in accordance with PHAC’s annual influenza report.
Overall, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) exercise is growing and likewise exceeds anticipated ranges for this time of 12 months, the company’s Respiratory Virus Report mentioned for the week ending Nov. 5.