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Flu season expected to hit Quebec shortly before the holidays


While health authorities in Quebec expect flu season to hit shortly before the holiday season, the virus has already arrived in the rest of Canada.

The ever-increasing data on the virus in Quebec also leads some experts to believe that the flu season has already begun.

Data from Quebec's public health institute (INSPQ) clearly show that influenza cases have risen over the past three weeks. There were 37 cases in the week ending Nov. 4. This number rose to 50 cases the following week, then to 93 cases, before jumping to 139 cases in the week ending Nov. 25.

According to the Health and Social Services Ministry (MSSS), this rising curve is "typical of the virus's behaviour at this time of year." It points out, however, that "several indicators are taken into account to determine the start of the flu season" and that this has "not yet been announced"' but will be "very shortly."

According to the information provided by the MSSS, flu activity during the week ending Nov. 25 was considered "low," but circulation was increasing.

Benoit Mâsse, a professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the Université de Montréal's School of Public Health, explained that the start of the flu season is determined when a screening test positivity threshold of 5 per cent is reached for a few consecutive weeks. This threshold has been reached in Canada but not in Quebec. In his opinion, it won't be long before it is.

Public health experts, therefore, recommend that people at risk of complications from influenza and those around them get vaccinated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 29, 2023. 


The Canadian Press health content is funded through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The Canadian Press is solely responsible for editorial choices. Top Stories

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