Measures taken to fight COVID-19, together with masking and bodily distancing, have had an influence on influenza transmission.
Public well being measures to stop COVID have additionally had a constructive influence on maintaining influenza at bay.
Now that many individuals are selecting to not put on masks or follow bodily distancing, public well being officers expect the flu to make a comeback.
“Final yr the flu season technically by no means began as a result of we did not meet the edge. [in the number of cases,” said Dr. John Tuinema, associate medical officer of health for Algoma.
Measures put in place to combat COVID-19, including masking and physical distancing, had an impact on influenza transmission, he said.
“This year, without those same measures in place, it is very much expected we will have a regular flu season. The extent of how severe it’s going to be remains to be seen,” he said.
Last week, Ontario’s top doctor said there is concern a ‘triple threat’ of a bad flu season, COVID-19 and the resurgence of a childhood viral illness may be putting a strain on the health system.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said last week the government may make a recommendation on masking in certain indoor settings and even a possibility of reinstating mask mandates.
This year’s strain of influenza is especially virulent, he said.
“On a normal season we see 12,000 Canadians admitted to hospital … that may be higher with (this strain),” said Moore.
People who are particularly vulnerable to respiratory viruses should definitely be masking now, Moore said.
Tuinema said he has noticed a slight increase in the number of people in the Sault choosing to wear masks once again in public.
“There seems to be a few more masks being worn than there would have been a few months ago, but I would say we are still not quite where we would want to be as far as being able to protect ourselves and others,” he said. ”Algoma Public Health continues to strongly recommend that people mask if they are going to be in enclosed spaces, crowded places or in close contact with many people.”
People can make the choice now to wear masks in certain situations, said Tuinema, possibly preventing the need for a government mandate to be imposed.
“They [the public] There isn’t any want to attend for his course earlier than beginning their safety, they will do it right now,” he stated.
In contrast to early within the pandemic when masks have been in brief provide, N-95 masks can now be discovered on the market in lots of retail shops.
“Medical-grade masks are very straightforward to pay money for, if individuals are in search of that further layer of safety as nicely,” Toinema stated.
Moore additionally recommends Ontarians get the flu shot, which is out there for folks six months of age and older. It takes about 10 to 14 days to take full impact.
Flu photographs are at the moment obtainable via native pharmacies, well being care suppliers and Algoma Public Well being.
“The extra individuals who get the shot, the extra we’re in a position to assist management the flu and hold our well being care system protected,” Tonema stated.
Further COVID-19 vaccines are additionally obtainable for folks residing in Algoma.
Not as many individuals as APH would love are selecting to take a booster dose, Tonema stated.
“These are the identical messages – getting vaccinated is the easiest way to guard your self and now we now have the COVID vaccines that focus on the Omicron variant. If folks have not gotten it but they usually’re eligible, they need to positively get it.” must be carried out,” Tuinema stated. “We might positively prefer to see extra folks have it, not only for their very own security, however for the protection of the folks round them.”
– With recordsdata from The Canadian Press