Public health reports first flu cases in 2 years

NWT public health is reporting the first cases of influenza in the past two years.

“This case serves as a reminder, that despite the lifting of COVID-19 health restrictions, respiratory viruses will continue to pose a risk to residents’ health,” says an advisory.

Jeremy Bird is a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services.

Shortly after the first case of the flu was announced late last week, he said additional cases had been detected in the Beaufort Delta, Tłı̨chǫ and Yellowknife regions.

“It’s most likely safe to assume it’s elsewhere as well,” he said in an email.

He added that wastewater testing initially detected the signal of the flu in the regions before clinical cases were diagnosed.

The public health advisory added that another illness Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is also present in the territory. RSV is usually more dangerous in infants and elderly people.

COVID-19, influenza and RSV all have similar symptoms, such as:

  • fever
  • cough
  • aches and pain
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite and/or smell
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

Public health is recommending people that have symptoms keep masking, handwashing and staying home, if possible.