More than a third of Canadians are at risk of catching the flu, according to a new study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people to limit outdoor activities, limit travel and use insect repellent and take vitamin D supplements to reduce the spread of the virus.
“We don’t want to see this pandemic as a time when we have a lot of people coming in to the country,” said Dr. Jennifer Bouchard, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto.
“This pandemic is about keeping people from going out, going about their lives, and they are really not coming in because they are afraid of getting sick,” said Bouchad, who co-authored the study with Dr. Mark Osterman, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
While the new study is preliminary, it does point to the importance of reducing the number of people in a group to reduce any potential spread of influenza, said Broughton.
“There is a lot that is at stake for this country.
If we don’t get these numbers down, then we can have another pandemic,” she said.”
What we have seen with pandemics is people don’t really do much about it.
They are just in a state of denial and that’s not going to change.
We need to make people understand this is serious, it is not a joke.”
The CDC released the results of the study on Monday, and the news came just hours before the start of the National Public Health Day on Sept. 17.
It’s not just the number who are infected, but also the age and gender breakdown, Bouchart said.
“The age group, the gender, is much more diverse, and this pandemic is very different.”
Dr. Stephen Hickey, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at Mount Saint Vincent University, agrees the number could be higher.
“It would be difficult to say how many people are being infected, and how many are dying, but it’s clear that the number is going up,” he said.
There are many reasons why people are getting sick, including being in crowded places, and in crowded areas people are more likely to get in contact with people, said Hickey.
“So the more people that get infected, the more likely they are to infect others, the better off are we all going to be.”
The number of flu cases has been falling over the past two years, but the CDC is warning of a pandemic if it continues.
“If we don, we have an opportunity to get some more data on how much flu people are actually getting and how much is the flu virus, and what that flu virus is doing to the people who are getting it,” said Hodge.
“There is an opportunity for us to see if we can slow it down.”
Hickey and Bouchd said it would be ideal to reduce travel in crowded cities such as Toronto and Montreal.
“In those areas, there’s a lot more people in the airways,” said Kary Moss, a public health specialist at McGill University.
“People are breathing heavily, they’re more vulnerable.
So we need to look at the airway management in these areas to try and get a sense of what we can do to limit the spread.”
The study also looked at the role of other factors, such as where people live and how they get to work.
“You need to be very careful where you’re staying,” said Moss.
“If you’re in a place where people are congregating around a shared kitchen table, and you’re not really interacting, that could be an issue.”
But some cities are making the most of the pandemic, including Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.
In all, 11 of the top 20 cities for flu cases were in Canada.
Bouchard said it’s not that people are living longer.
“This is a real problem for us in Canada, we’re not going for the Olympics or something,” she told CBC News.
“The pandemic has been quite a shock.
We are now living through the flu season, which is a time where we have been focusing on prevention and recovery, which includes getting people back to work and getting them back to healthy lifestyles,” she added.”
Most people are taking the flu vaccine, and that means we’re getting a much lower level of flu.
But we are still seeing a lot less than normal flu cases, which suggests that we have made some progress.”