Home Health Manitoba health officials say more flu shots would help ease strain on health care

Manitoba health officials say more flu shots would help ease strain on health care

by News Desk
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WINNIPEG — The number of children seeking treatment for respiratory viruses at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital is unprecedented at this time of year, the facility’s chief physician said Tuesday.

So far this month, the hospital has seen three times the normal number of children testing positive for seasonal flu, straining its system.

“We are in control,” said Elisabete Doyle, M.D., medical director and director of the hospital’s pediatrics department.

“We see all the sick children who need to be seen.

Manitoba is battling three viruses. COVID-19, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus occur every year, but this year they started at the same time and are primarily affecting children.

Doctors Manitoba, which represents about 4,000 doctors and medical students, warns that hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed.

One factor is the low flu vaccination rates among children this year. That’s just over 6%, according to state data.

“Part of that could be related to the fact that we were a little late getting to the table this year because…during the pandemic… people weren’t vaccinated (for the flu).

Doyle and the state’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Russan, attended a telephone town hall on Tuesday night to answer questions and offer advice.

They urged parents to make sure their children were kept up to date on vaccinations and to stay home when sick. , and answered questions ranging from flu vaccination availability.

A woman who worked at an orphanage said she was dealing with many sick children.

“Now it’s like a revolving door where kids go home sick and come back sick,” she said.

For respiratory viruses without a specific diagnosis, Roussin said children should stay home until symptoms improve markedly for at least two days. It should definitely improve, he added.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on November 22, 2022.

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