Increase in Respiratory Illnesses, Ministry of Health says

Tuesday, Nov 07 418


he following is a press release from the Ministry of Health:

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs through routine surveillance has noted an increase in the number of individuals presenting with flu-like symptoms. The increase is observed both in visits to the emergency departments and hospital admissions.

This is particularly true for children less than 5 years of age.

Our surveillance systems have been able to identify Respiratory Synical Virus (RSV) and Influenza type A as the two most common viral infections at this time. We have also noted the RSV has been detected .in the majority of samples tested.

RSV is a highly infectious and common respiratory infection which mostly affects young children but can also occur in adults. Although RSV symptoms are usually mild, some people are at a higher risk for  developing more severe illness and hospitalization especially:

  • Infants (0 - 12 months)
  • older persons (65 years of age or older)
  • Individuals who are immunocompromised
  • Individuals with chronic heart or lung disease

Similar to other respiratory viruses, symptons of RSV infection include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, decreased appetite, and wheezing. In very young infants, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.

Similar to other respiratory viruses, RSV is spread through:

  • Large droplets when someone coughs or sneezes
  • Touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

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