- In week 07, all influenza indicators remained similar to, or declined, from the previous week.
- Overall, elevated activity was mostly reported in the Central and Atlantic provinces.
- For the past few weeks, influenza B detections have been increasing steadily, particularly in the Prairies and in Quebec. In week 07, influenza B detections were greater than influenza A detections in QC and AB. This increase in influenza B is expected as influenza B often shows up later in the flu season.
- A(H3N2) continues to be the most common type of influenza affecting Canadians. Seniors continue to have the highest number of positive laboratory detections, hospitalizations and deaths.
- Detections of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continue to be the second most frequently detected virus after influenza.
- Evidence from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) does indicate that this year’s vaccine will continue to provide protection against the circulating A(H1N1) and B strains.
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
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.