‘Intense’ flu season hits Canadian kids hard, landing more in hospital

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A clown entertains a child who has just received a flu vaccine in a military hospital. Canadian health officials are encouraging more uptake of influenza vaccines by children this season. (Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters)


(Amina Zafar/ CBC News) — Flu infections are raging among children and hospitalizing them across Canada, say pediatricians who are calling for urgent and longer-term solutions.

On the weekend, hospitals across the country were forced to scale back regular service to deal with a surge in influenza illnesses.

Doctors say the moves reflect a surge in influenza on top of long-standing pressures on both pediatric hospitals and care providers in the community. Cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have, in the meantime, stabilized after spiking earlier this season.

For the week ending Nov. 26, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s FluWatch reported 223 influenza-associated hospitalizations among children 16 and under. (…)

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