- In weeks 23 and 24, influenza activity in Canada continued to decline and is approaching inter-seasonal levels.
- Most jurisdictions reported sporadic influenza activity and low laboratory detections of influenza.
- As of week 24, 7,784 hospitalizations and 597 deaths have been reported from participating regions, which is more than were reported last year at this time (5,272 hospitalizations and 326 deaths).
- An outbreak of MERS-CoV is ongoing in the Republic of Korea and has resulted in 180 cases and 29 deaths. Contact tracing is ongoing. The risk to Canadians remains low.
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.