Nunavut sees sharp increase in respiratory illness

More cases of RSV between April 1 and May 21 than in past two years combined, says Health Department

Nunavut’s Health Department is urging more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (File photo)

By Meral Jamal

There have been more cases of respiratory illness in Nunavut this spring than over the last two years combined, according to the territory’s Health Department.

That includes influenza as well as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, for which 126 lab-confirmed cases were recorded between April 1 and May 21 this year.

By comparison, during the same seven-week period in 2019, the department said, there were only 56 cases reported.

RSV generally comes with mild symptoms similar to a cold, however it can be serious for infants and older adults.

To provide children the best protection against severe illness due to RSV, the government said it is immediately restarting its Palivizumab vaccination program.

The vaccine will be available to children at risk including premature infants who are six months old or younger, children under 12 months who have chronic lung disease, those currently requiring ongoing supplemental oxygen, and children under 24 months with immunodeficiencies, Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.

Influenza vaccines for Nunavut residents ages six months and older are available through health centres and public health units.

As well, COVID-19 vaccines for Nunavummiut ages five and older continue to be available in all Nunavut communities.

During the pandemic, public safety restrictions — most of which have since been lifted — decreased cases of other respiratory illnesses across Nunavut, the health department said.


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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by John K on

    I’m very interested to see how this will be politicized.

    Will it be a hoax?

    Maybe a plot?

    Who knows?

    • Posted by S on

      John boy; thou art grossly self-overrated

  2. Posted by Peter on

    There’s so much respiratory illness in Nunavut, it always has been even before Covid, interesting that it went down when everyone was wearing masks and when they stopped wearing masks respiratory illnesses went back up.
    I still use my mask in public places like the stores, so many people coughing who knows what they have, TB, cold, Covid, I wish at the very least people would still wear their mask just at the stores.

    • Posted by enosamm on

      It is not interesting at all, it is obvious.
      I also wear a mask in public places, because if the last two years have taught us anything is that you cannot count on your fellow Canadian to do the absolute minimum for the greater good without a lot of whining and complaining about the smallest of inconvenience. People with active TB, RSV, flu, COVID and colds wandering around public places touching everything and coughing with their mouths open, spreading it all around. Gross.

      • Posted by MARS on

        Quit your whining, complaining and grandstanding. Getting sick and allowing your body to fight off infection is necessary. What makes you think we all need to live in a bubble.

        I hadn’t been sick for well over a year pre-covid. Eat healthy and exercise instead of hiding from every germ and your body will thank you in the long run.

        Darwin is coming for you.

        • Posted by Oh for god’s sake… on

          A virus doesn’t give a damn what you eat. It’s not grandstanding to wear a mask in public places if you’re sick, its a common curtesy. Wearing a mask is not living in a bubble its taking reasonable precautions so you don’t pass on illness to vulnerable people. I cannot believe that two years into this pandemic people like you still need this explained.

  3. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Colour me surprised! After two years behind masks and physically isolated from each other, we are now in close contact with little to no safeguards. Should anyone be surprised that the incidence of respiratory illness has skyrocketed? Next up, a major TB outbreak!

    • Posted by Alex on

      There is already an outbreak in Pang 🙁

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