First Case of Confirmed Influenza Reported in the Sudbury & District Health Unit Area
November 3, 2017
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Please be advised that the Sudbury & District Health Unit has received the first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza A for the 2017/18 influenza season. Increased vigilance is warranted for influenza infection in your patients presenting with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection. We are also reminding providers to offer immunization to patients as an effective means of preventing influenza and its complications.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that all Canadians 6 months of age and older receive the influenza vaccine. The people at greatest risk of influenza-related complications are adults and children with underlying health conditions, residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities, people 65 years of age and older, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women, and Indigenous individuals. We also remind health care professionals to be immunized to protect themselves and their patients.
Information regarding laboratory testing for influenza is available from Public Health Ontario as part of this year’s Respiratory Viral Testing Algorithm: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/LAB_SD_121_Respiratory_Viral_Testing_Algorithm_and_Enhanced_Surveillance_Update.pdf. Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, both suspected and confirmed cases of influenza must be reported to the Medical Officer of Health.
Please also consider the timely administration of antivirals (e.g. oseltamivir or zanamivir) to recommended recipients presenting with influenza symptoms, regardless of immunization status, in accordance with current AMMI guidelines available at: http://www.ammi.ca. Laboratory confirmation of influenza in these individuals is not required prior to administration.
As per the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Fluwatch report (week 42, Oct. 15–21, 2017), influenza remains at interseasonal levels across Canada. The percentage of laboratory tests positive for influenza remains higher for this time of year compared to previous seasons. The majority of influenza detections continue to be A (H3N2). In week 42, three provinces including Ontario were reporting localized activity.
Should you have any further questions, please contact the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 301.
P. Sutcliffe, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health
This item was last modified on November 3, 2017