Canada is officially in a flu epidemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada has announced.
The Agency said in its FluWatch report that the rate jumped to 11.7 per cent the week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, compared to 6.3 per cent the previous week.
“All surveillance indicators are increasing and most are above expected levels typical of this time of year,” reads the latest weekly report from the agency.
The agency declared an epidemic, which happens most years after the threshold of a five per cent positivity rate is surpassed, though it said influenza levels are higher than would have been expected when compared to pre-pandemic years.
Public health officials have warned that hospitals across the country are already overburdened with flu, RSV, COVID-19 and other infections, and that is leading to growing calls for mask mandates.
In Ontario, the chief medical officer of health recommended masking indoors in an effort to curb the ongoing pediatric hospital crisis in the province, but he stopped short of a mandate. Dr. Kieran Moore said he is “discussing and reviewing” the possibility of requiring masks in schools again.
“What we are facing is a triple threat,” said Moore at his Monday news conference. “All three (flu, RSV and COVID-19) are actively circulating across Ontario in all of our communities.”