Influenza cases climb again in Manitoba, province’s latest report says

Manitoba has seen another significant increase in influenza activity in the past week, according to the province’s latest report.

The province’s lastest weekly respiratory surveillance report says a total of 207 influenza cases were reported for the week of Nov. 20-26. That’s up from 154 cases the week before.

The test positivity rate for influenza A — the dominant circulating strain in the province — was 21.4 per cent for the latest reporting week, up from 15.6 per cent in the previous reporting period.

That’s slightly below the national average, which is 23.1 per cent, the report says.

An average of 273 specimens were tested each day, up from 160 the week before and 116 in early November.

Children under the age of five are at the highest risk of flu infection, and so far this flu season have accounted for 15 per cent of all cases and 25 per cent of flu-related hospital admissions, the report says.

Emergency departments in Manitoba saw 2,613 visits related to respiratory illnesses, up from 2,389 the week before, but the report notes the average daily number of admissions to hospital for those illnesses was similar week to week.

There were 19 flu-related hospital admissions for the week of Nov. 20-26. The province’s new reporting system doesn’t give specific numbers for flu-related intensive care admissions, but says that number was under five for the reporting week.

There have been a total of seven flu-related deaths this season, the report says. That number was under five the week before.

A total of 43 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases were detected during the reporting week, compared to 62 the week before.

COVID-19 numbers

The number COVID-19 cases reported in the province was also lower than the previous week, at 281, compared to 314 the week earlier.

However, those numbers are not considered a true reflection of COVID-19 activity, due to limited provincial PCR testing. 

The COVID-19 test positivity rate was 15.4 per cent for Nov. 20-26, down from 18.2 the week earlier.

For the second week in a row, 82 people were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. In the latest week, 19 COVID patients were admitted to the ICU, up from 12 in the previous reporting period.

The number of reported deaths from COVID-19 rose by 16 between the two reporting periods.

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