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Canadian officials to provide update on COVID, address other health concerns – National

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will provide an update on COVID-19 and address other health concerns on Friday.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and other Government of Canada officials will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. ET.

The update comes at a time when Canada is struggling with three separate surges in viruses.

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Flu shot: What we know about this year’s vaccine and ‘virulent’ dominant strain

Cases of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and an early onset of the flu season have posed a significant challenge for kids’ hospitals across Canada, which have been swamped with children suffering from respiratory illnesses.

In the latest respiratory virus report, PHAC states that influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remain “elevated,” with influenza cases reported to be the highest in Canada.

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According to the report, influenza activity “is far above expected levels for this time of year and continues to increase (5,876 detections; 19.2 per cent positive.)”

Click to play video: 'Canada declares flu epidemic'

Canada declares flu epidemic

Public health experts have urged people to get their flu shot and to also ensure they get the latest bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster to stay protected amid the colder months.

In Canada each year, the flu causes an estimated 12,200 hospital stays, according to the federal government. It is also among the 10 leading causes of death in the country, taking the lives of approximately 3,500 people annually.

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RSV not just a kids problem, doctors warn as infections surge in Canada

Apart from swirling viruses, Canadian families are also grappling with a shortage of children’s pain medication, with unprecedented demand for kids’ acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

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During last week’s public health update, officials confirmed that imported children’s pain and fever products will begin to appear on Canadian shelves this week.

– with files from Sean…

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