CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — P.E.I. is ready for fall respiratory diseases, says the province’s chief public well being officer.
Dr. Heather Morrison made the feedback in an interview with SaltWire Community on Oct. 27.
“Once we anticipate each influenza and COVID-19 to be circulating in P.E.I., it’s vital to get vaccinated towards each viruses and ensure you’re protected with boosters, to guard your self and others,” stated Morrison.
Some clinics supply a two-in-one appointment the place each the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are administered if desired.
“It’s vital to get each,” she stated, including that anybody searching for each vaccines on the identical time ought to choose that choice when reserving their appointment.
P.E.I. noticed its first lab-confirmed case of influenza two weeks in the past, stated Morrison.
“We expect to see extra influenza circumstances this yr than within the final couple of years and we’ll proceed to see COVID circumstances as nicely,” she stated.
Flu circumstances within the southern hemisphere are displaying up earlier and in larger numbers than within the earlier 5 years, stated Morrison.
There’s a high-potency influenza vaccine accessible for these 60 and older that gives stronger safety for that group and kids aged two to 17 have the choice to obtain Flumist, a nasal spray influenza vaccine, at public well being clinics, stated Morrison.
The entire accessible flu vaccines shield towards 4 flu strains, together with the pressure recognized within the first affected person of the season, stated Morrison.
Just like the COVID-19 vaccines, the flu vaccine decreases the possibility of somebody getting significantly sick with the flu virus, she stated.
Bivalent boosters from each Moderna and Pfizer can be found in P.E.I. to these 12 and older. Islanders can get a booster if it’s been six months since their final COVID-19 vaccination or three months since a COVID-19 an infection.
“We’re actually having regular uptake of our booster vaccines all through the province,” stated Morrison, including that uptake has elevated within the final couple of weeks.
The newest information says 91 per cent of these 60 and older had one booster, and 52 per cent have two boosters.
“P.E.I. has at all times had good vaccine uptake and I anticipate that may proceed for each flu and COVID,” she stated.
A current information story stated P.E.I., British Columbia and Alberta have been the highest three provinces through which to catch COVID-19, based mostly on day by day COVID-19 an infection numbers.
Morrison stated P.E.I.’s numbers have been down within the reporting interval after the story was revealed.
“We now have had a gradual lower this week in our circumstances and our hospitalizations in addition to our per cent positivity,” stated Morrison
As for why P.E.I. was within the high three, it’s sophisticated, she stated.
“What’s difficult whenever you examine P.E.I. to the remainder of the nation, is that we’ve got simply accessible testing and we’ve got several types of testing than numerous different locations,” stated Morrison, naming fast antigen assessments, molecular and PCR assessments that are all nonetheless in use to detect COVID circumstances.
“We now have substantively extra circumstances getting picked up,” she stated. “And I really suppose it’s actually good on P.E.I. that we’re persevering with to search out circumstances, in order that we are able to isolate individuals after which lower transmission. Folks can get examined right here, they need to get examined and they need to keep house in the event that they’re sick. That helps everybody.”
Anybody who assessments constructive for COVID-19, in addition to anybody who can not isolate away from that individual or anybody who’s an in depth contact and has signs of COVID-19, should isolate for 5 days and put on a masks for the following 5 days any time they can’t preserve social distancing.
“It’s actually vital to remain house should you’re sick, no matter whether or not you might have COVID, influenza or every other communicable sickness, particularly as we’re going into this respiratory (sickness) season,” stated Morrison.
Though the general public well being workplace stopped reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in faculties, it continues to observe for all communicable diseases, together with COVID-19.
Any time absenteeism at a P.E.I. college reaches 10 per cent or extra resulting from a respiratory sickness, it needs to be reported to the general public well being workplace, stated Morrison.
“We tracked that earlier than COVID when it comes to influenza outbreaks, however we proceed to try this and work with the colleges on that,” stated Morrison.
The general public well being workplace is watching a number of indicators – day by day and weekly – to gauge the standing of COVID-19 within the province and to evaluate any want for public well being measures.
“That monitoring and surveillance will completely be persevering with by means of the autumn and with our respiratory season,” she stated.
People may cut back the impression of fall diseases by staying house when sick, masking in indoor public locations, staying updated on vaccinations – flu and COVID-19 – and handwashing, stated Morrison.
Alison Jenkins is a well being reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. She might be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @ReporterAlison.