- Influenza activity in Canada continued to decline, with only two regions reporting localized activity in each of weeks 21 and 22.
- The percentage of laboratory tests positive for influenza was 3.4% in week 22. Influenza B continues to be the predominant circulating type.
- Interrupting its recent upward trend, detections of rhinovirus decreased in week 22. Detections of other respiratory viruses were stable or decreasing in weeks 21 and 22.
- The ILI consultation rate has been fairly stable over the past 8 weeks, and above the expected range for the past five weeks.
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.