FluWatch report:  August 26, 2018 to September 8, 2018 (Week 35-36)

Overall Summary

  • Influenza activity is at interseasonal levels across the country.
  • The majority of regions in Canada are reporting no influenza activity.
  • All indicators of influenza activity are at low levels, as expected for this time of year.
  • Influenza A is the most common influenza virus circulating in Canada.
  • This is the first FluWatch report of the 2018-2019 season. Influenza and other respiratory viruses are monitored weekly and results reported every Thursday in the Respiratory Virus Detections in Canada Report.

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Influenza/Influenza-like Illness Activity (geographic spread)

During week 36, the following influenza activity levels were reported (Figure 1):

  • Sporadic activity was reported by 4 regions, in AB(1) and ON(3).
  • No activity was reported by the majority of regions (39).
  • No data were reported by 10 regions.

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Organization:

Date published: 2018-09-14

Figure 1 – Map of overall influenza/ILI activity by province and territory, Canada, week 2018-36

Figure 1
Figure 1 - Text Description
Figure 1 – Map of overall influenza/ILI activity level by province and territory, Canada, week 2018-36
Influenza Surveillance Region Activity Level
Newfoundland - Central  No Activity
Newfoundland - Eastern  No Activity
Grenfell Labrador No Activity
Newfoundland - Western  No Activity
Prince Edward Island No Activity
Nova Scotia - Central (Zone 4) No Activity
Nova Scotia - Western (Zone 1) No Activity
Nova Scotia - Northern (Zone 2) No Activity
Nova Scotia - Eastern (Zone 3) No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 1 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 2 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 3 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 4 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 5 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 6 No Activity
New Brunswick - Public Health Region 7 No Activity
Nord-est Québec No Activity
Québec et Chaudieres-Appalaches No Activity
Centre-du-Québec No Activity
Montréal et Laval No Activity
Ouest-du-Québec No Activity
Montérégie  No Activity
Ontario - Central East Sporadic
Ontario - Central West Sporadic
Ontario - Eastern No Activity
Ontario - North East No Activity
Ontario - North West  No Activity
Ontario - South West  No Activity
Ontario - Toronto Sporadic
Manitoba - Interlake-Eastern  No Data
Manitoba - Northern Regional No Data
Manitoba - Prairie Mountain No Data
Manitoba - South No Data
Manitoba - Winnipeg No Data
Saskatchewan - North  No Activity
Saskatchewan - Central No Activity
Saskatchewan - South No Activity
Alberta - North Zone No Activity
Alberta - Edmonton No Activity
Alberta - Central Zone  No Activity
Alberta - Calgary No Activity
Alberta - South Zone  Sporadic
British Columbia - Interior No Activity
British Columbia - Fraser  No Activity
British Columbia - Vancouver Coastal No Activity
British Columbia - Vancouver Island No Activity
British Columbia - Northern No Activity
Yukon No Activity
Northwest Territories - North No Data
Northwest Territories - South No Data
Nunavut - Baffin No Data
Nunavut - Kivalliq No Data
Nunavut - Kitimeot No Data

Laboratory Confirmed Influenza Detections

In weeks 35 and 36, the following results were reported from sentinel laboratories across Canada (Figure 2 and Figure 3):

  • Overall, laboratory detections of influenza are at interseasonal levels.
  • A total of 25 laboratory detections of influenza were reported, all of which were influenza A.
  • The percentage of tests positive for influenza was 0.68% and  0.71% in weeks 35 and 36 respectively

To date this season, detailed information on age and type/subtype has been received for >14 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases (Table 1).

  • Adults 20-64 years of age represent the largest proportion of cases overall (82%)

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 2 – Number of positive influenza tests and percentage of tests positive, by type, subtype and report week, Canada, 2018-19, weeks 35 to 36

Figure 2

The shaded area indicates weeks where the positivity rate was at least 5% and a minimum of 15 positive tests were observed, signalling 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, 2018-19
Report Week A(Unsubtyped) A(H3) A(H1)pdm09 Influenza B
35 3 2 7 0
36 2 7 4 0

Figure 3 – Cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type/subtype and province/territory, Canada, weeks 2018-35 to 2018-36

Figure 3
Figure 3 - Text Description
Figure 3 - Cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type/subtype and province/territory, Canada, 2018-19
Reporting
provincesTable Figure 3 - Footnote 1
Week (August 26, 2018 to September 8, 2018) Cumulative (August 26, 2018 to September 8, 2018)
Influenza A B Influenza A B A & B
Total
A
Total
A
(H1N1)pdm09
A
(H3N2)
A(UnS)Table Figure 3 - Footnote B
Total
A
Total
A
(H1N1)pdm09
A
(H3N2)
A(UnS)Table Figure 3 - Footnote B
Total
BC 3 1 0 2 0 3 1 0 2 0 3
AB 7 3 4 0 0 7 3 4 0 0 7
SK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ON 13 7 5 1 0 13 7 5 1 0 13
QC 2 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 2
NB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
YT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
NU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 25 11 9 5 0 25 11 9 5 0 25
PercentageTable Figure 3 - Footnote 2 100% 44% 36% 20% 0% 100% 44% 36% 20% 0% 100%
Table Figure 3 - Footnote 1

Specimens from NWT, YT, and Nvt are sent to reference laboratories in other provinces.

Return to Table Figure 3 - Footnote 1 referrer

Table Figure 3 - Footnote 2

Percentage of tests positive for sub-types of influenza A are a percentage of all influenza A detections.

Return to Table Figure 3 - Footnote 2 referrer

Table Figure 3 - Footnote UnS

Unsubtyped: The specimen was typed as influenza A, but no result for subtyping was available.

Return to first Table Figure 3 - Footnote UnS referrer

Discrepancies in values in Figures 2 and 3 may be attributable to differing data sources.

Cumulative data includes updates to previous weeks.

Table 1 - Cumulative numbers of positive influenza specimens by type, subtype and age-group reported through case-based laboratory reporting, Canada, weeks 2018-35 to 2018-36
Age groups (years) Cumulative (August 26, 2018 to September 8, 2018)
Influenza A B Influenza A and B
A Total A(H1) pdm09 A(H3) A (UnS)Footnote 1 Total # %
0-4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
5-19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
20-44 6 <5 0 <5 0 6 35%
45-64 8 <5 <5 <5 0 8 47%
65+ <5 0 <5 <5 0 <5 18%
Total >14 8 5 <5 0 >14 100%
Tableau 1 - Note 1

UnS: unsubtyped: The specimen was typed as influenza A, but no result for subtyping was available;

Return to Table 1 - Note 1

Syndromic/Influenza-like Illness Surveillance

Healthcare Professionals Sentinel Syndromic Surveillance

In week 36, 0.9% of visits to healthcare professionals were due to influenza-like illness (ILI) (Figure 4). The percentage of visits for ILI is at interseasonal levels.

Figure 4 - Percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels by report week, Canada, weeks 2018-35 to 2018-36 Number of Sentinels Reporting in Week 36: 64

The shaded area represents the maximum and minimum percentage of visits for ILI reported by week from seasons 2012-13 to 2016-17

Figure 4
Figure 4 - Text Description
Figure 4 - Percentage of visits for ILI reported by sentinels by report week, Canada, 2018-19
Report week 2018-19 Average Min Max
35 0.6% 0.8% 0.5% 1.2%
36 0.9% 0.8% 0.7% 1.0%

Participatory Syndromic Surveillance

FluWatchers is a participatory ILI surveillance system that relies on weekly voluntary submissions of syndromic information from Canadians across Canada. To learn more about the FluWatchers program.

If you are interested in becoming a FluWatcher for the 2018-19 season, sign up today.

The 2018-19 FluWatchers reporting season will begin October 1st, 2018 (week 40).

Severe Outcomes Influenza Surveillance

Provincial/Territorial Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths

In weeks 35 and 36 no influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported by participating provinces and territoriesFootnote 1.

Pediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths

Surveillance of laboratory-confirmed influenza associated pediatric (≤16 years of age) hospitalizations from the Immunization Monitoring Program Active (IMPACT) network has not yet begun for the 2018-19 season.

Adult Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths

Surveillance of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated adult (≥16 years of age) hospitalizations by the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) Serious Outcomes Surveillance (SOS) network has not yet begun for the 2018-19 season.

Influenza Strain Characterizations

The National Microbiology Laboratory has not yet reported influenza strain characterization results for influenza viruses collected during the 2018-19 season.

Antiviral Resistance

The National Microbiology Laboratory has not yet reported antiviral resistance results for influenza viruses collected during the 2018-19 season.

Notes: To learn more about definitions, descriptions and the FluWatch program in general, see the Overview of influenza monitoring in Canada page. For more information on the flu, see our Flu(influenza) web page.

This report is available on the Government of Canada Influenza webpage.
Ce rapport est disponible dans les deux langues officielles.

We would like to thank all the Fluwatch surveillance partners who are participating in this year's influenza surveillance program.


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