Flu circumstances down, COVID-19 exercise on the rise: Toronto Public Well being

Flu circumstances down, COVID-19 exercise on the rise: Toronto Public Well being

The worst of flu season seems to be over however COVID-19 circumstances are on the rise once more, in line with Toronto Public Well being (TPH).

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Well being Dr. Eileen de Villa offered the newest information, with metrics as of Jan. 10, to the town’s board of well being Monday, exhibiting flu season seems to have peaked simply as COVID-19 indicators present that virus is on the rise.

“In latest weeks, COVID case exercise has steadily elevated whereas flu case exercise has considerably decreased,” mentioned de Villa.

“We are going to proceed to observe, after all, to see how this continues.”

In the previous few months, hospitals throughout Ontario have been battling unprecedented ranges of respiratory sicknesses, notably RSV, COVID-19 and the flu. TPH says RSV, which put a extreme pressure on youngsters’s hospitals, has since stabilized to seasonal ranges and flu circumstances have considerably declined.

The latest uptick in COVID-19 exercise could also be in step with Ontario’s high physician’s prediction that there is of one other wave of infections anticipated within the province this month.

In December, Ontario’s Medical Officer of Well being Dr. Kieran Moore predicted an increase in COVID circumstances in early to mid-January and really useful “layers of safety” to fend off respiratory an infection.

As of Jan. 10, 17 per cent of COVID-19 lab exams from Toronto got here again constructive — greater than 4 share factors increased than the province’s positivity fee at 13.6 per cent. The rolling weekly incidence fee of newly confirmed COVID-19 circumstances, expressed per 100,000 residents, sits at 52. 

Whereas these indicators present an uptick in an infection, De Villa famous wastewater surveillance tendencies are reducing, and TPH is eager to see how that can replicate in scientific information and hospitals.

Two graphs show the decreasing activity in flu cases and the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Toronto.
Toronto Public Well being information reveals beginning November, COVID-19 exercise has been steadily growing, whereas flu exercise has been considerably reducing. (Toronto Public Well being)

De Villa says extreme outcomes resembling hospitalization and ICU admission are nonetheless low. She famous the newest COVID-19 variant XBB.1.5 is essentially the most transmissible seen thus far, and is spreading rapidly in the US and Europe.

“However at this level, ranges in Ontario stay low,” de Villa mentioned, including an infection with this variant would not appear to result in increased charges of significant sickness.

“The perfect data we have now at this level counsel that continued use of present layers of safety are nonetheless crucial and proceed to cut back the danger of extreme outcomes related to these new COVID-19 subvariant infections.”

De Villa says vaccination campaigns have been largely centered on these with elevated danger to the virus. For the reason that fall, tens of hundreds of boosters have been given, TPH information reveals, with 73 per cent of Torontonians 60 and over having obtained a booster.

Influenza, RSV numbers down 

Within the Monday replace, TPH mentioned influenza exercise began and peaked sooner than typical, coming to its highest level in December.

This season noticed nearly 4,000 confirmed circumstances thus far — a pointy improve in comparison with earlier 5 years earlier than the pandemic, which noticed a cumulative common of a little bit over 3,000 circumstances by the top of flu season.

De Villa says at this level TPH cannot say why this occurred, but it surely adopted related tendencies in jurisdictions in southern hemisphere.

“I do not know that we have now fulsome explanations for all these attention-grabbing phenomena,” she advised the board.

Youngsters’s hospitals getting again on observe

In the meantime, ranges of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are sitting at seasonal ranges. In latest months, RSV was additionally hitting Ontario hospitals sooner than regular, however began to decelerate late November. 

Pediatric hospitals throughout Ontario have needed to cancel surgical procedures as a way to cope with a serious surge in respiratory sicknesses, however there are indicators that demand is easing.

Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Youngsters started growing surgical procedures Monday after it ramped down surgical procedures mid-November to take care of its overwhelmed intensive care unit and ER, saying it has seen the variety of sufferers stabilize to volumes normally seen this time of yr.