Canada could be heading for flu season amid 4th wave of COVID-19, Tam says – National

Canada’s prime physician warns the nation might be heading for its first typical flu season because the pandemic started, whilst well being techniques are nonetheless battling the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Final yr the flu was “just about non-existent,” in Canada, because of strict public well being measures to guard towards COVID-19, chief public well being officer Dr. Theresa Tam stated Friday.

What served as a blessing final fall, sparing already overwhelmed well being techniques, may now imply Canadians have much less immunity towards widespread strains of the flu.

Surveillance information from the Public Well being Company of Canada reveals larger charges of an infection than anticipated for a few of Canada’s most typical seasonal viruses: respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. and human parainfluenza.

Learn extra:
Hardly any Canadians caught the flu last year. What can we expect this fall?

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“This yr we’re anticipating a doable flu resurgence, as a consequence of decrease ranges of immunity within the inhabitants because of much less circulation final flu season, and the easing of some restrictive, community-based public well being measures,” Tam stated.

Even throughout non-pandemic occasions, flu season has been identified to deliver hospitals to their knees, overcrowding emergency rooms and intensive care items.

Now, with some hospitals already at capability and workers throughout the nation burnt out by a yr and a half of offering pandemic care, an intense flu season might be particularly dire.

“That is positively not the yr to have influenza wreak havoc,” Tam stated.

That’s why public well being officers say it will likely be extra vital than ever that folks get flu pictures to keep away from issues like pneumonia and shield hospitals from turning into overloaded.

Click to play video:'Learn more about the 2021/22 flu season'

Be taught extra in regards to the 2021/22 flu season

Be taught extra in regards to the 2021/22 flu season

On Oct. 7, The Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended the flu vaccine might be given any time earlier than or after _ and even similtaneously _ the COVID-19 vaccine, so there’s no purpose to postpone both shot.

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It’s too early to say how extreme the flu season is more likely to be, however pediatric hospitals are already feeling the ailing results.

The emergency room on the Youngsters’s Hospital of Japanese Ontario is packed to the extent the hospital would usually see on the peak of flu season.

The surge has been pushed partly by routine accidents, but in addition from a “potpourri” of viruses, together with RSV, stated Tammy DeGiovanni, the hospital’s senior vice-president of medical companies and chief nurse government.

Due to COVID-19, she stated, CHEO has needed to cancel surgical procedures and add to already size backlogs. Flu circumstances would solely compound that downside additional and create prolonged waits for non-urgent care.

“What we fear about is our capability and our capability to workers,” DeGiovanni stated in an interview Friday. “What we strive to not do, however we’ve been compelled to, are some cancellations.”

An identical state of affairs is enjoying out at different kids’s hospitals as nicely, she stated.

Tam stated the federal authorities has been bolstering health-care techniques all through the pandemic by making certain emergency assist from the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Crimson Cross, however the resolution is just not sustainable.

Click to play video:'COVID-19 headlines heading into flu season'

COVID-19 headlines heading into flu season

COVID-19 headlines heading into flu season

“Well being-care capability can’t be generated in a single day, and significantly issues like ICU capability,” Tam stated.

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“Folks must do every little thing they will to scale back each COVID and different respiratory viruses so as to maintain our system going.”

Tam’s deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo, stated one of many silver linings of the pandemic often is the prevalence of flu prevention measures, like hand-sanitation stations and masks carrying.

“Hopefully a lot of these behaviors will keep it up long gone … COVID-19 and grow to be a part of regular wholesome behaviors to guard yourselves sooner or later towards different respiratory infections, together with annual flu.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press | Canada might be heading for flu season amid 4th wave of COVID-19, Tam says – Nationwide


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