Pharmacists Ahmed Elleithi gives Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a flu vaccination, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Pharmacists Ahmed Elleithi gives Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a flu vaccination, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Public Health Agency of Canada says flu epidemic has begun as rates rise

Positivity rate nearly doubled from the last week of October to the first week of November

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the national flu test positivity rate nearly doubled from the last week of October to the first week of November.

It says the week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5 saw a test positivity rate of 11.7 per cent, compared to 6.3 per cent the previous week.

The agency’s FluWatch report says Canada has now entered a flu epidemic, which is declared most years after the threshold of a 5 per cent positivity rate is surpassed.

But it says influenza levels are higher than would have been expected when compared to pre-pandemic years. COVID-19 restrictions drastically reduced the spread of the flu in 2020 and 2021.

The agency says there were 13 confirmed influenza outbreaks in the first week of the month, including nine in long-term care homes and one in a school or daycare.

The health-care system is dealing with a triple threat of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and higher-than-normal levels of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

VIDEO: B.C. prepares for flu and COVID-19 this fall

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