It has been a gentle flu season in Alberta with not a single lab-confirmed case since reporting began in September.
Dr. James Dickinson, a professor of household medication on the College of Calgary’s Cumming College of Medication, runs the Alberta group influenza surveillance program.
He says it is extraordinarily uncommon to see zero circumstances throughout this time of the 12 months, however it could be because of Albertans’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic — carrying masks, washing arms, social distancing and never travelling.
“We’re not getting any [flu] coming in as a result of we’re simply not getting sufficient individuals arriving, bringing the flu with them, due to the locations the place they could come from there’s no flu, both,” he advised the Calgary Eyeopener.
Over the last flu season, there have been over 8,000 confirmed circumstances of influenza in Alberta, 2,500 hospitalizations and 39 deaths, the physician stated.
“Now we’re midway by the season and by this time final 12 months, we might have had about half that quantity,” he stated.
Dickinson says this information is collected by the Alberta provincial laboratories’ surveillance program.
Whereas some individuals who do get the flu do not get examined for it, others could go to hospital or COVID testing centres and be swabbed for a spread of viral illnesses.
“They’re analyzed not only for COVID, but in addition for this panel of influenza-type viruses, simply to verify,” he stated.
“And we’re simply not discovering any.”
This data is not a novel phenomenon in Alberta. Dickinson says that throughout Canada, labs are getting the same set of responses.
“There simply is not a lot flu in any respect,” he stated.
“And that is the entire level of getting a flu surveillance community: to be careful for what is going on on, to attempt to perceive it higher so we will do higher subsequent time.”
Dickinson says a complete new subject of analysis will emerge as they appear to see if measures in opposition to COVID labored in opposition to different respiratory viruses.
“As we study extra about it, we’ll let what we all know is more likely to be best.”
With information from the Calgary Eyeopener.