Significant Increase in Influenza Cases in the NWT Over the Past Week

News Type: 
Advisories

YELLOWKNIFE (December 6, 2023) - The Chief Public Health Officer is issuing an advisory to notify the public of a significant increase in influenza cases in the NWT over the past week, with the majority reported in Yellowknife.

Notably, Alberta has been experiencing widespread influenza activity for the past few weeks.

As we enter the holiday season and anticipate an influx of returning students and visitors, it is strongly recommended that individuals aged 6 months and older stay up to date on their flu vaccines.

This is particularly important for those who are at high risk of influenza-related illness and those who regularly interact with high-risk populations.

High-risk individuals include:

  • Children aged 6 months to 59 months
  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Pregnant individuals
  • Residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • People in small, rural, isolated communities with limited access to health care services
  • Adults and children with chronic heart, lung, or kidney disease; diabetes; cancer; any condition or medication weakening the immune system; extreme overweight; anemia; neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions increasing risk in children aged 6 months to 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy.

Considering the holiday travel season, it is especially important to get vaccinated against influenza. This precaution is crucial, especially if you are planning to travel over the holidays. Students returning home from post-secondary institutions should be vaccinated before travelling, as it takes approximately 14 days after vaccination to achieve protection.

To schedule your influenza vaccine, please contact your local public health unit or community health centre.

The Chief Public Health Officer will continue monitoring the situation and provide regular updates until the advisory is lifted.

 

For more information contact:

Jeremy Bird
Manager Communications
Health and Social Services
Jeremy_Bird@gov.nt.ca