Recent reports of health authorities have confirmed that rate of flu infection is on the rise in Canada, while majority reports were received from two regions in Ontario, all seven provinces showed some sort of localized outbreaks. An official statement released on Thursday by the Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care claimed that “weekly reports from the health care frontlines show high numbers of patients with influenza-like symptoms visiting doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, and higher numbers than usual of lab-confirmed influenza cases, especially in southwestern and eastern Ontario.”
Moreover, the number of influenza virus cases is also raising steeply in Newfoundland and Labrador, confirmed the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Faith Stratton. Dr. Stratton pointed out that this year’s vaccine protects against two strains of the virus. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has already confirmed localized flu activity in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, P.E.I., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador during the first week of December. The agency reported that “Influenza activity in Canada continued to increase.” Consequently, the agency added, the prescription rate of antiviral medications has also increased proportionally.
The direct of the infection prevention and control unit at the University Health Network in Toronto, Dr. Michael Gardam, stated that “the flu shot definitely works,” while acknowledging that “overall, roughly 60 per cent protection each year, so it’s certainly better than doing nothing and there’s really no downside.” He further added that “studies have shown that if you wash your hands at least five times a day you will significantly reduce your risk.”
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