Three virus could threaten our health this flu season

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Sophie Demers

QUÉBEC – According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in recent weeks respiratory virus cases have increased. With the mix of Covid-19, influenza (flu) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), pharmacies across Canada are having cough medicine shortages, especially for children.

The three viruses can have similar symptoms and ways of transmission. Influenza symptoms include fever, coughing, and body aches. Children can also experience vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. Other symptoms may include headaches, decreased appetite, sore throat, chills, fatigue, or a runny nose.

RSV can infect a person of any age, but young children and older people are more susceptible. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat, sneezing, fatigue, and fever. Children may also experience difficulty breathing, decreased activity and irritability.

Covid-19 symptoms include cough, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath, fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting.

As of November 8th, there were 12 new cases of Covid-19 in the Pontiac region, for a total of 1,498 throughout the pandemic. The Centre Intégré de Santé et de Service Sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) stated that positive cases of respiratory viruses such as influenza and RSV don’t need to be reported therefore data is incomplete. However, there has been an increase in positive tests in the region and since it is the beginning of the flu season cases are likely to increase.

CISSSO recommends wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing in your elbow, and properly disposing of tissues. Staying up to date with Covid and flu vaccines is also important to protect others and reduce the pressure on emergency rooms when cases increase.

Campbell’s Bay RA vaccination clinic closed

On Saturday, November 12, the vaccination clinic at the Campbell’s Bay RA was closed; starting November 16, residents can get vaccinated for Covid-19 and influenza at Pontiac’s CLSCs: Shawville, on Wednesdays; Mansfield, on Thursdays and Quyon on Fridays. Chapeau will have a clinic on November 30, with more dates to be confirmed. All clinics are open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be booked through ClicSanté online at https://portal3.clicsante.ca/ or by phone at 819-966-6277. Walk-ins are possible, but a wait may occur. People can also contact their doctor or a pharmacy for their flu shot.