Sask. influenza cases surge 833 per cent in past month including 1 death: report

So far in 2022 almost the same number of people have died from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan as in the same period in 2021. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press - image credit)
So far in 2022 almost the same number of people have died from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan as in the same period in 2021. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Respiratory illnesses are raging across the province with cases clogging emergency departments and causing multiple deaths.

Between Oct. 23 and Nov. 19, 73 people have died in Saskatchewan from COVID-19, according to the province's latest Community Respiratory Illness Surveillance Program [CRISP] Situation Report.

There have been 733 deaths as a result of COVID-19 so far this year, which is slightly fewer than the 752 COVID deaths recorded during the same time period in 2021.

Influenza claimed its first death of the season last week, a person over the age 50. Detected influenza cases surged over the past four weeks from 68 to 635 cases, an 833 per cent increase.

One-third of people tested for influenza have been positive.

Province of Saskatchewan
Province of Saskatchewan

Weekly visits to emergency departments of people with respiratory-like illnesses have doubled — 56.5/1,000 visits from 26.6/1,000 visits in mid-October.

The CRISP report said school absenteeism data is not yet available, but should be included in the next report.

COVID-19 patients make up 11 per cent of all staffed inpatient beds in the province and an average of 12 people per week being admitted to ICUs.

Province of Saskatchewan
Province of Saskatchewan

The viral load in wastewater is decreasing, though it remains high in areas such as Saskatoon, with the BA.5 sublineages BQ.1 and BQ.1.1  now the dominant strains.

Only Saskatoon and Regina have more than 50 per cent of their population up to date for COVID-19 vaccines.

Just 15 per cent of people 12 and old have received a bivalent booster dose.

Influenza hospitalizations and ICU admissions are going up with the majority of cases being children 0-19 [37 per cent] and people over 60 [40 per cent].

So far less than one-fifth of the population have received an influenza vaccine.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases increased from 22 to 29 cases with almost all hospitalizations being children 0-19 years of age.