FluWatch report: August 28 to September 10, 2016 (weeks 35-36)

  • This is the first FluWatch report of the 2016-17 influenza season.
  • Influenza activity is at interseasonal levels with all regions of Canada reporting low to no influenza activity.
  • In week 36, sporadic influenza activity was reported in 11 regions across five provinces and territories (YK, BC, AB, ON, and QC).
  • A total of 13 positive influenza detections were reported in weeks 35 and 36 and the detections of influenza A and B were approximately equal.
  • In week 36, 0.98% of visits to sentinel healthcare professionals were due to ILI.
  • No outbreaks were reported in weeks 35 and 36.
  • Low numbers of hospitalizations were reported in weeks 35 and 36.
  • For more information on the flu, see our Flu(influenza) web page.

In week 36, the majority of regions in Canada reported no influenza activity. Sporadic influenza activity was reported in 11 regions across five provinces and territories (YK, BC, AB, ON, and QC). For more details on a specific region, click on the map.

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: 2016-09-16

Figure 1 - Map of overall influenza/ILI activity level by province and territory, Canada, Week 36
Figure 1
Figure 1 Legend
Note: Influenza/ILI activity levels, as represented on this map, are assigned and reported by Provincial and Territorial Ministries of Health, based on laboratory confirmations, sentinel ILI rates and reported outbreaks. Please refer to detailed definitions at the end of the report. Maps from previous weeks, including any retrospective updates, are available in the mapping feature found in the Weekly Influenza Reports.
Figure 1 - Text Description

In week 36, the majority of regions in Canada reported no influenza activity. Sporadic influenza activity was reported in 11 regions across five provinces and territories (YK, BC, AB, ON, and QC).

In week 35-36, the percentage of tests positive for influenza remained at interseasonal levels, ranging from 0.2% in week 35 to 0.7% in week 36. For data on other respiratory virus detections, see the Respiratory Virus Detections in Canada Report on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website.

Figure 2 - Number of positive influenza tests and percentage of tests positive, by type, subtype and report week, Canada, 2016-17
Figure 2
The shaded area indicates weeks where the positivity rate was at least 5% and a minimum of 15 positive tests were observed, signaling the start and end of seasonal influenza activity.
Figure 2 - Text Description
Figure 2 - Number of positive influenza tests and percentage of tests positive, by type, subtype and report week, Canada, 2016-17
Report Week A(Unsubtyped) A(H3) A(H1)pdm09 Influenza B
35 <5 <5 0 0
36 <5 0 0 7
37 0 0 0 0
38 0 0 0 0
39 0 0 0 0
40 0 0 0 0
41 0 0 0 0
42 0 0 0 0
43 0 0 0 0
44 0 0 0 0
45 0 0 0 0
46 0 0 0 0
47 0 0 0 0
48 0 0 0 0
49 0 0 0 0
50 0 0 0 0
51 0 0 0 0
52 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0
6 0 0 0 0
7 0 0 0 0
8 0 0 0 0
9 0 0 0 0
10 0 0 0 0
11 0 0 0 0
12 0 0 0 0
13 0 0 0 0
14 0 0 0 0
15 0 0 0 0
16 0 0 0 0
17 0 0 0 0
18 0 0 0 0
19 0 0 0 0
20 0 0 0 0
21 0 0 0 0
22 0 0 0 0
23 0 0 0 0
24 0 0 0 0
25 0 0 0 0
26 0 0 0 0
27 0 0 0 0
28 0 0 0 0
29 0 0 0 0
30 0 0 0 0
31 0 0 0 0
32 0 0 0 0
33 0 0 0 0
34 0 0 0 0

Nationally in weeks 35-36, there were 13 positive influenza tests reported. The detections of influenza A and B were approximately equal in weeks 35 and 36. The majority of regions across Canada reported no influenza detections. For more detailed weekly and cumulative influenza data, see the text descriptions for figures 2 and 3 or the Respiratory Virus Detections in Canada Report.

Figure 3 - Cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type/subtype and province/territory, Canada, 2016-17
Figure 3
Figure 3 - Text Description
Figure 3 - Cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type/subtype and province/territory, Canada, 2016-17
Reporting
provincesTable Figure 3 - Footnote 1
Weekly (August 28, 2016 to September 10, 2016) Cumulative (August 28, 2016 to September 10, 2016)
Influenza A B Influenza A B
A
Total
A
(H1)pdm09
A
(H3)
ATable Figure 3 - Footnote UnS B
Total
A
Total
A
(H1)pdm09
A
(H3)
ATable Figure 3 - Footnote UnS B
Total
BC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
AB <5 0 <5 <5 <5 <5 0 <5 <5 <5
SK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ON <5 0 0 <5 <5 <5 0 0 <5 <5
QC <5 0 0 <5 0 <5 0 0 <5 0
NB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
YT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 6 0 <5 5 7 6 0 <5 5 7

To date this season, detailed information on age and type/subtype has been received for less than five cases.

Table 1 - Weekly and cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type, subtype and age-group reported through case-based laboratory reporting Table 1 - Footnote 1, Canada, 2016-17
Age groups (years) Weekly (August 28, 2016 to September 10, 2016) Cumulative (August 28, 2016 to September 10, 2016)
Influenza A B Influenza A B Influenza A and B
A Total A(H1) pdm09 A(H3) ATable 1 - Footnote UnS Total A Total A(H1) pdm09 A(H3) ATable 1 - Footnote UnS Total # %
<5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
5-19 0 0 0 0 <5 0 0 0 0 <5 <5 50%
20-44 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
45-64 <5 0 0 <5 0 <5 0 0 <5 0 <5 50%
65+ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Total <5 0 0 <5 <5 <5 0 0 <5 <5 <5 100%
PercentageTable 1 - Footnote 2 50% 0% 0% 100% 50% 50% 0% 0% 100% 50% - -

Healthcare Professionals Sentinel Syndromic Surveillance

In week 36, 0.98% of visits to healthcare professionals were due to ILI.

Figure 4 - Percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels by report week, Canada, 2016-17
Number of participants reporting in week 36: 82
Figure 4
Delays in the reporting of data may cause data to change retrospectively. In BC, AB, and SK, data are compiled by a provincial sentinel surveillance program for reporting to FluWatch. Not all sentinel physicians report every week.
Figure 4 - Text Description
Figure 4 - Percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels by report week, Canada, 2016-17
Report week % Visits for ILI
35 0.99%
36 0.98%
37 0.00%
38 0.00%
39 0.00%
40 0.00%
41 0.00%
42 0.00%
43 0.00%
44 0.00%
45 0.00%
46 0.00%
47 0.00%
48 0.00%
49 0.00%
50 0.00%
51 0.00%
52 0.00%
1 0.00%
2 0.00%
3 0.00%
4 0.00%
5 0.00%
6 0.00%
7 0.00%
8 0.00%
9 0.00%
10 0.00%
11 0.00%
12 0.00%
13 0.00%
14 0.00%
15 0.00%
16 0.00%
17 0.00%
18 0.00%
19 0.00%
20 0.00%
21 0.00%
22 0.00%
23 0.00%
24 0.00%
25 0.00%
26 0.00%
27 0.00%
28 0.00%
29 0.00%
30 0.00%
31 0.00%
32 0.00%
33 0.00%
34 0.00%

Are you a primary healthcare practitioner (General Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse) interested in becoming a FluWatch sentinel?
Please visit our Influenza Sentinel page for more details.

In weeks 35-36, no new laboratory confirmed influenza outbreaks were reported.

Figure 5 - Overall number of new laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreaksFigure 5 - Footnote 1 by report week, Canada, 2016-17
Figure 5
Figure 5 - Text Description
Figure 5 - Overall number of new laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreaks by report week, Canada, 2016-17
Report week Hospitals Long Term Care Facilities Other
35 0 0 0
36 0 0 0
37 0 0 0
38 0 0 0
39 0 0 0
40 0 0 0
41 0 0 0
42 0 0 0
43 0 0 0
44 0 0 0
45 0 0 0
46 0 0 0
47 0 0 0
48 0 0 0
49 0 0 0
50 0 0 0
51 0 0 0
52 0 0 0
1 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
3 0 0 0
4 0 0 0
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0
11 0 0 0
12 0 0 0
13 0 0 0
14 0 0 0
15 0 0 0
16 0 0 0
17 0 0 0
18 0 0 0
19 0 0 0
20 0 0 0
21 0 0 0
22 0 0 0
23 0 0 0
24 0 0 0
25 0 0 0
26 0 0 0
27 0 0 0
28 0 0 0
29 0 0 0
30 0 0 0
31 0 0 0
32 0 0 0
33 0 0 0
34 0 0 0

In weeks 35-36, less than five influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported by participating provinces and territoriesFootnote *.

Table 2 - Cumulative number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths by age and influenza type reported by participating provinces and territories, Canada 2016-17
Age Groups (years) Cumulative (August 28, 2016 to September 10, 2016)
Hospitalizations ICU Admissions Deaths
Influenza A Total Influenza B Total Total [# (%)] Influenza A and B Total % Influenza A and B Total %
0-4 0 0 0 (0%) 0 0% 0 0%
5-19 <5 0 <5 (100%) 0 0% 0 0%
20-44 0 0 0 (0%) 0 0% 0 0%
45-64 0 0 0 (0%) 0 0% 0 0%
65+ 0 0 0 (0%) 0 0% 0 0%
Total <5 0 <5 (100%) 0 0% 0 0%

Pediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths

Surveillance of laboratory-confirmed influenza associated pediatric (≤16 years of age) hospitalizations from the IMPACT network has not yet begun for the 2016-17 season.

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) has not yet reported any influenza strain characterizations for the 2016-17 season.

The NML has not yet reported antiviral resistance results for influenza viruses collected during the 2016-17 season.

Abbreviations: Newfoundland/Labrador (NL), Prince Edward Island (PE), New Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), Quebec (QC), Ontario (ON), Manitoba (MB), Saskatchewan (SK), Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC), Yukon (YT), Northwest Territories (NT), Nunavut (NU).

Influenza-like-illness (ILI): Acute onset of respiratory illness with fever and cough and with one or more of the following - sore throat, arthralgia, myalgia, or prostration which is likely due to influenza. In children under 5, gastrointestinal symptoms may also be present. In patients under 5 or 65 and older, fever may not be prominent.

ILI/Influenza outbreaks

Schools:
Greater than 10% absenteeism (or absenteeism that is higher (e.g. >5-10%) than expected level as determined by school or public health authority) which is likely due to ILI.
Note: it is recommended that ILI school outbreaks be laboratory confirmed at the beginning of influenza season as it may be the first indication of community transmission in an area.
Hospitals and residential institutions:
two or more cases of ILI within a seven-day period, including at least one laboratory confirmed case. Institutional outbreaks should be reported within 24 hours of identification. Residential institutions include but not limited to long-term care facilities (LTCF) and prisons.
Workplace:
Greater than 10% absenteeism on any day which is most likely due to ILI.
Other settings:
two or more cases of ILI within a seven-day period, including at least one laboratory confirmed case; i.e. closed communities.

Note that reporting of outbreaks of influenza/ILI from different types of facilities differs between jurisdictions.

Influenza/ILI activity level

1 = No activity: no laboratory-confirmed influenza detections in the reporting week, however, sporadically occurring ILI may be reported

2 = Sporadic: sporadically occurring ILI and lab confirmed influenza detection(s) with no outbreaks detected within the influenza surveillance region Footnote

3 = Localized:

  1. evidence of increased ILIFootnote * and
  2. lab confirmed influenza detection(s) together with
  3. outbreaks in schools, hospitals, residential institutions and/or other types of facilities occurring in less than 50% of the influenza surveillance regionFootnote

4 = Widespread:

  1. evidence of increased ILIFootnote * and
  2. lab confirmed influenza detection(s) together with
  3. outbreaks in schools, hospitals, residential institutions and/or other types of facilities occurring in greater than or equal to 50% of the influenza surveillance regionFootnote

Note: ILI data may be reported through sentinel physicians, emergency room visits or health line telephone calls.

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