- Influenza activity in Canada continued to increase in week 48.
- Influenza A remained the predominant influenza virus type, with 77% of subtyped influenza A specimens to date identified as A(H1N1)pdm09.
- Two regions reported localized influenza/ILI activity and 18 reported sporadic activity, and the ILI consultation rate continued to increase.
- The number of both paediatric and adult hospitalizations with influenza increased in week 48.
- RSV detections increased sharply in week 48, although rhinovirus remained the predominant virus detected.
FluWatch is Canada's national surveillance system that monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses on an on-going basis. FluWatch reports, posted every Friday, contain specific information for health professionals on flu viruses circulating in Canada.
The FluWatch program consists of a network of labs, hospitals, doctor's offices and provincial and territorial ministries of health. Program objectives include to:
- Detect flu outbreaks across the country as early as possible
- Provide timely up-to-date information on flu activity in Canada and abroad to health professionals [and interested Canadians]
- Monitor circulating strains of the flu virus (like H1N1) and assess their sensitivity to antiviral medications, [such as Tamiflu and Relenza]. Antivirals, when used by doctors to treat flu, can help reduce the severity of the illness and the recovery time for a patient
- Provide information that the World Health Organization can use to make its recommendations on the best vaccine to use for seasonal flu shots.
The Summary Box above covers the main findings from the current week's FluWatch report.