Virus season: 'High risk' of transmission, warns Ontario's top doctor
As respiratory season gets underway, Ontario's top doctor is urging the public to get vaccinated and warning the province is entering a time of “high risk of transmission” at a time where COVID-19 and RSV cases are on the rise.
"Influenza is now following a more traditional pattern," Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of health for Ontario, told CTV News Channel's Marcia MacMillan on Monday. "It's going to accelerate through our social time of year."
Flu season officially begun in Canada last week, the federal public health agency said, warning that the number of cases are rising and have pasted seasonal thresholds.
NOT TOO LATE TO GET A FLU SHOT
One of the ways that Canadians can boost their own protection and help protect the vulnerable members of the community is by getting a flu shot, Dr. Moore said, adding that there's still time for those who haven't received one yet.
"This week would be a very good time," Dr. Moore said. "It takes 10 to 14 days to build immunity once you've had the vaccine."
As the holidays approach and indoor socialization is on the upswing it's the best protection in a "very vulnerable time," especially for older members of the community, Moore said.
‘COVID ISN'T TIRED OF US’
COVID-19 also remains a concern in Ontario and Dr. Moore said the virus isn't "tired of us," with positivity signals rising sharply across the province.
"It is very active across Ontario," Dr. Moore warned. "It's still having a significant effect on the health of Ontarians through high hospitalization rates."
Moore also recommended that residents make sure they're staying up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 booster shots and urged those over 60 to "come forward" and "consider getting vaccinated."
MASKING IS ‘STILL HELPFUL’
Amid the active respiratory season in Ontario, Moore said "basic precautions" are still a good defence against the spread – things like staying home when sick, covering coughs and good hand hygiene.
He also said that wearing a mask when in crowded indoor settings, like public transit or shopping centres, also remains "very helpful" and over the last several years has been helpful in bringing influenza "under control" and curbing infectivity.
"We know it does work and it will help protect those that are the most vulnerable.”