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Flu season has arrived on P.E.I. and more viruses are expected, says chief doc

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — P.E.I., like the remainder of the nation is experiencing a rise in respiratory sicknesses, says the province’s chief public well being officer.

“That features COVID, we’re additionally seeing influenza will increase and, identical to the remainder of the nation it’s above anticipated ranges at the moment of 12 months,” mentioned Dr. Heather Morrison when she spoke to SaltWire Community Nov. 16.


Nationally, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) exercise is above anticipated ranges for this time of 12 months, according to Health Canada’s website.

For the reason that final week of August, the province has recognized eight instances of RSV. There have been none recognized final week, mentioned Morrison.

“We haven’t seen it as a lot right here but, however we do anticipate these numbers to begin growing,” mentioned Morrison. “We’re seeing different respiratory viruses that we’re testing for.”

Flu season

Influenza instances are sooner than regular as properly. There have been 25 lab-confirmed instances to date this season, with 17 coming within the final week, she mentioned.

“And that’s simply a sign that there’s higher influenza exercise round,” mentioned Morrison, including that not everybody with flu signs will search medical consideration.

There have additionally been eight hospitalizations resulting from influenza with 4 of these eight instances being youngsters 10 or youthful.

“Flu exercise is above anticipated ranges for this time of 12 months,” mentioned Morrison. “We’re involved on the timing of all these respiratory viruses arriving collectively.”

That was the pattern within the southern hemisphere, as properly, with flu season arriving with different viruses like RSV, parainfluenza and enterovirus.

“So that’s regarding that we’ll have numerous potential people on P.E.I. with respiratory sickness,” she mentioned.

Whereas there aren’t vaccines for all seasonal respiratory sicknesses – for instance, there’s no shot to forestall RSV – Morrison mentioned it’s vital to remain updated with vaccinations for COVID-19 and influenza.

Anybody who’s in danger for extreme outcomes from COVID-19 is inspired to proceed testing for the virus when feeling sick as a result of Paxlovid is offered to minimize its affect.

Morrison additionally famous that on the finish of November, the necessary COVID-19 five-day isolation interval is on observe to transition to a suggestion to remain dwelling when sick.

Cut back private threat

Most of the seasonal sicknesses have comparable signs, mentioned Morrison.

“Most viruses are contagious for various days, so when you’re sick, it’s vital to remain dwelling till your signs begin enhancing – meaning no fever and also you’re beginning to really feel higher,” mentioned Morrison.

She additionally mentioned it’s vital to put on a masks for a complete of 10 days from the onset of signs.

“After which delay visiting others who could also be susceptible to extreme outcomes for that very same 10-day interval,” mentioned Morrison.

The masks mandate will stay in place in P.E.I. for hospitals, long-term care and group care services, mentioned Morrison.

When out in public, Morrison nonetheless urges folks to think about their very own private dangers when deciding to don a masks.

“Particularly after we’re seeing the excessive ranges of respiratory viruses in circulation.”

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