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Overall Summary

  • Influenza B continues to be the most common influenza virus circulating in Canada; however, influenza B is past its peak and remains within expected levels for this time of year.
  • Overall, influenza activity in Canada continues to decrease; however, elevated activity was still reported in week 19 (mostly in parts of Central Canada and Newfoundland).
  • Based on laboratory detections, influenza B is having a greater impact on adults less than 65 years of age compared to influenza A(H3N2), which predominated earlier in the season.
  • As of week 19, 7,549 hospitalizations and 576 deaths have been reported from participating regions, which is more than were reported last year at this time (4,862 hospitalizations and 291 deaths).

Are you a primary health care practitioner (General Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse) interested in becoming a FluWatch sentinel for the 2014-15 influenza season? Contact us at FluWatch@phac-aspc.gc.ca

About FluWatch

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.