(Laura Pelley/ CBC News) — Highly contagious norovirus, known for causing a nasty, days-long stomach illness, is on the rise in Canada after a pandemic lull, federal health officials confirmed to CBC News.
Since early January, reported cases of norovirus have been “increasing both at the national level and within several provinces,” including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said in an email response to questions about spikes in cases in the U.S. and U.K.
Infections identified through PHAC’s surveillance program since the start of 2023 are “generally comparable” with those reported during the same time period in the last few seasons prior to the pandemic, said spokesperson Anna Maddison. PHAC did not provide hard data, due to the “preliminary nature” of the figures being reported by the provinces.
Given the unpleasant, and in some cases deadly, symptoms — including stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and dehydration — the virus’s rise in Canada offers another rude reminder of how many pathogens are circulating again this winter. (…)