FluWatch report: September 13 to September 26, 2015 (weeks 37 and 38)
- Overall, there is low influenza activity in Canada; however, influenza activity and detections are increasing, especially in BC.
- In week 37, two influenza outbreaks were reported.
- In weeks 37 and 38, both paediatric and adult hospitalizations with influenza were reported.
- For more information on the flu, see our Influenza (flu) web page.
Are you a primary health care practitioner (General Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse) interested in becoming a FluWatch sentinel for the 2015-16 influenza season? Contact us at FluWatch@phac-aspc.gc.ca
On this page
- Influenza/ILI Activity (geographic spread)
- Laboratory Confirmed Influenza Detections
- Influenza-like Illness Consultation Rate
- Influenza Outbreak Surveillance
- Sentinel Pediatric Hospital Influenza Surveillance
- Provincial/Territorial Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths
- Influenza Strain Characterizations
- Antiviral Resistance
- International Influenza Reports
- FluWatch definitions for the 2015-2016 season
Influenza/Influenza-like Illness Activity (geographic spread)
In week 38, sporadic influenza activity was reported in the Western provinces and parts of Central Canada. The majority of influenza activity was reported in the BC and ON.
Laboratory Confirmed Influenza Detections
Although the number of positive influenza tests increased over the two week period, the percent positive for influenza detections remains low (1.5%) (Figure 2).
Most jurisdictions have reported only sporadic numbers of influenza detections in recent weeks. The majority of detections in Canada have been reported from BC, accounting for 77% of influenza detections in Canada in week 38. To date, 94% of influenza detections have been influenza A and the majority of those subtyped have been A(H3).
Among cases with reported age, the largest proportion was in those ≥65 years of age (52%) (Table 1).
|Age groups (years)||Weekly (September 13 to September 26, 2015)||Cumulative (August 30, 2015 to September 26, 2015)|
|Influenza A||B||Influenza A||B||Influenza A and B|
|A Total||A(H1) pdm09||A(H3)||A Table 1 - Footnote UnS||Total||A Total||A(H1) pdm09||A(H3)||A Table 1 - Footnote UnS||Total||#||%|
|PercentageTable 1 - Footnote 2||100.0%||0.0%||36.2%||53.8%||0.0%||94.8%||0.0%||67.3%||32.7%||5.2%|
For additional data on other respiratory virus detections see the Respiratory Virus Detections in Canada Report on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
Influenza-like Illness Consultation Rate
The national influenza-like-illness (ILI) consultation rate increased from 13.2 consultations per 1,000 patient visits in week 37 to 14.8 per 1,000 visits in week 38. In week 38, the highest ILI consultation rate was found in the 5-19 age group and the lowest was found in the ≥65 age group (Figure 4).
Influenza Outbreak Surveillance
In week 37, two new outbreaks of influenza were reported. One influenza A(H3) outbreak was reported in a long-term care facility (LTCF) and the other of unknown type was reported in an institutional or community setting (Figure 5). No outbreaks were reported in week 38.
Figure 5. Overall number of new laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreaksFigure 5 - Footnote 1 by report week, Canada, 2015-2016
Sentinel Pediatric Hospital Influenza Surveillance
Paediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths (IMPACT)
To date, less than five laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated paediatric (≤16 years of age) hospitalizations have been reported by the Immunization Monitoring Program Active (IMPACT) network. The hospitalized cases were due to influenza A.
Figure 6. Percentage of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths with influenza reported by age-group, Canada, 2015-16, Paediatric hospitalizations (≤16 years of age, IMPACT)
Figure 7. Number of cases of influenza reported by sentinel hospital networks, by week, Canada, 2015-16 Paediatric hospitalizations (≤16 years of age, IMPACT)
Note: The number of hospitalizations reported through IMPACT represents a subset of all influenza-associated paediatric hospitalizations in Canada. Delays in the reporting of data may cause data to change retrospectively.
Provincial/Territorial Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths
Figure 8. Percentage of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths with influenza reported by age-group, Canada 2015-16
See additional data on Reported Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths in Canada: 2011-12 to 2015-16 on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
Influenza Strain Characterizations
The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) has not yet reported any influenza strain characterizations for the 2015-16 season (Figure 9).
The NML has not yet reported antivirual resistance results for influenza viruses collected during the 2015-16 season (Table 2).
|Virus type and subtype||Oseltamivir||Zanamivir||Amantadine|
|# tested||# resistant (%)||# tested||# resistant (%)||# tested||# resistant (%)|
|B||0||0||0||0||NA Table 2 - Footnote *||NA Table 2 - Footnote *|
International Influenza Reports
- World Health Organization influenza update
- World Health Organization FluNet
- WHO Influenza at the human-animal interface
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seasonal influenza report
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - epidemiological data
- South Africa Influenza surveillance report
- New Zealand Public Health Surveillance
- Australia Influenza Report
- Pan-American Health Organization Influenza Situation Report
FluWatch definitions for the 2015-2016 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.
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.
- 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
3 = Localized:
4 = Widespread:
Note: ILI data may be reported through sentinel physicians, emergency room visits or health line telephone calls.
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