Canada isn't just dealing with winter. It's also prime time for colds and other illnesses to spread. Canada's flu season, in particular, can get very difficult. Often the sickness affects the most vulnerable, and it is highly contagious. In almost every province, instances of flu are at their peak, and there have already been serious consequences.
According to data from the Government of Canada, between December 15 and January 4, there were 9,119 reported cases of influenza. Throughout the entire flu season, there have already been 12,547 lab detections of the illness.
Across Canada, 10 deaths have already been reported as being related to the virus, particularly to the influenza A strain, which is the most common type.
There has also been an increase in pediatric admissions related to the sickness in the last three weeks, with 258 cases being reported. Pediatric cases are defined by patients who are 16 or younger.
Throughout the latest flu season, there have been a total of 370 related pediatric hospitalizations. There have not been any reported pediatric deaths. Children under five years of age made up 65% of these hospital admissions.
Almost every province and territory has reported mostly localized cases of the flu (with one area in southern British Columbia reporting widespread cases).
Thank you @carlyweeks for highlighting the importance of the flu shot: ‘An influenza strain that hits children hard… https://t.co/s2JocprLgb— IPAC Canada (@IPAC Canada)1578938233.0
No data was provided for Saskatchewan and Nunavut.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both have small pockets with no reported cases.
What may be most surprising is that the entire province of Manitoba has no reported cases of the flu.
@wpgchris In past years, the B strain has shown up later in the flu season. This year we have seen a very early sta… https://t.co/xdVQjAYa9w— John Dobbin (@John Dobbin)1579022760.0
The flu is highly contagious, and anyone who has it can infect people from up to six feet away. However, there are a number of common-sense practices that can help prevent infection.
These include washing your hands or using sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces in your home, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth whenever possible.