How much respiratory illness do we have locally right now?

Use the activity levels below, to learn how much respiratory illness is in our community right now. This can help guide you in making decisions to keep yourself and others healthy.1

COVID

FLU




Updated April 16, 2024

           

           Where can I get a COVID-19 test?          

Who is eligible for COVID-19 Paxlovid treatment?


To reduce your risk of catching or spreading respiratory illness, you can: 

wash your hands and high touch objects, wear a mask, physical distance, spend time outdoors or in well-ventilated indoor spaces, stay home when sick and get vaccinated.           

For more detailed tips see Public Health Ontario’s ‘How to protect yourself and others from respiratory viruses’. 

Infectious respiratory illnesses are caused by germs such as viruses or bacteria that can easily be spread to others. Examples are the flu, COVID-19, and the common cold. Symptoms can include cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting/diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

Each fall and winter, many different types of respiratory viruses circulate in our community. These viruses can spread through the air when people infected with a virus cough, sneeze, or talk closely with another person. Viruses can also spread by touching an infected object and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

The number of cases below is less than the actual number of people with illnesses in the community because not everyone gets tested. Since 2022, testing (PCR, IDNow) is only done in high-risk settings (such as hospitals or Long-Term Care Homes).

The data on this page are updated with the most recent information available each week.

The last update was April 16, 2024.

COVID-192,3,4 

 The total number of cases and deaths were incorrect last week. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Active cases

2

2024 deaths

1

Hospitalizations with COVID

0

Hospitalizations due to COVID

0

Total cases

3,673

Total deaths

40

ICU admissions due to COVID

0

Outbreaks: Hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes, or other congregate care3

Northdale Manor

 

 

 Confirmed cases: Line graph depicting the trend of COVID-19 cases from August 2023. The graph shows a fluctuating pattern: starting at 7 cases in August, increasing to an average of 4.7 cases per day by the end of September, followed by a gradual decrease in October to 1.2 cases per day by month-end. November exhibits two peaks: one on the 13th with 4 cases per day, and another on the 30th with 5 cases per day. In December, cases generally decrease, spiking to 4.8 cases per day in early January. Since then, cases have stabilized around 2.5, As of April 16 there were 2 active cases.   Wastewater: See number 5 in the methods and sources section for more wastewater details. Graph showing Kirkland Lake’s COVID-19 viral load starting in September of 2023 where the viral load was near 0 until October 25, when it started to increase until it peaked at 1165 on November 9, then decreased to 360 November 15. From here it increased to another peak at 1720 on December 7. Since December 14, the viral load has been fluctuating between 900 and 1400, before falling to 6 in the last sample (April 10).  Since September, the viral load on Haileybury’s graph was low (near 0) except for the following peaks: October 2 when it peaked at 626, October 20 at 2,540, November 24 at 1,325, followed by a high peak at 2721 on the 21st of December.  The viral load started to decrease at the beginning of February, and it was 12 in the last sample.  The last sample was on April 11th.  Hospitalizations. There were no hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in August of 2023. There were 2 ICU admissions in the first week of September, followed by 12 hospitalizations between September 17 and 26. There were 6 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in October, and 5 in November. 4 of these November hospitalizations are clustered around the end of the month, which shows an increasing trend. Starting November 27, the number of hospitalizations generally increased to a peak of 4 hospitalizations per day in the second week of December and has generally decreased. Currently, there are 0 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  COVID-19 deaths: COVID-19 was the main cause of death in the following number of cases by year: 2020 there were no deaths, 2021 there were 4 deaths, 2022 there were 18 deaths, in 2023 there were 2 deaths, and there was 1 death so far in 2024. Regarding cases where COVID-19 contributed to, but was not the main cause of death, in 2020 and 2021 there were 0, in 2022 there were 11 deaths, in 2023 there were 4 deaths, and in 2024 there were no deaths.

Influenza

Since September 2023, there have been 36 cases of influenza A in Timiskaming, and 2 recent cases of influenza B. Interpret this with caution because laboratory testing is limited. The number of influenza cases is decreasing in Timiskaming, Northeastern Ontario and the entire province.6 Additionally, wastewater analysis in Kirkland Lake and Haileybury detected very low levels of influenza A, which suggest that influenza is likely circulating at low levels in our community.5

What is influenza?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can result in a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and more. It can lead to mild to severe illness and, in some cases, can be fatal. Influenza viruses are highly contagious. These viruses can spread through the air when people infected with the virus cough, sneeze, or talk closely with another person. Influenza can also spread by touching an infected object and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

RSV/Other Viruses

Low levels of the following viruses have been detected in Timiskaming since September of 2023: 

  • RSV
  • Parainfluenza
  • Rhinovirus

Interpret this with caution because laboratory testing is limited. 

What is RSV and other viruses?

The descriptions below are just a general overview. How sick someone gets can be different for each person. Some might only have mild symptoms, while others could get more severe symptoms, and sadly, in some cases, it can even lead to death.

Adenoviruses cause a range of illnesses, including respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and sore throat.

Enteroviruses and rhinoviruses commonly cause mild respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Rhinoviruses are a frequent cause of the common cold, leading to symptoms like runny nose and congestion.

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a respiratory virus that can cause infections, especially in children and older adults. Symptoms may include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Parainfluenza viruses cause respiratory infections, such as croup and bronchiolitis, particularly in young children. Symptoms may include cough, fever, and a barking cough in the case of croup.

RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It is a common virus that can cause cold-like symptoms. RSV is a common virus affecting the respiratory tract, causing illnesses like bronchiolitis and pneumonia, especially in infants and young children.

Coronaviruses (other than COVID-19) are a family of viruses causing respiratory infections. Some strains, like the common cold coronaviruses, result in mild symptoms. Others, such as those causing SARS and MERS, can lead to severe respiratory illnesses.

Methods and sources

1. Respiratory activity levels and trends are based on the number of cases in the last week, the wastewater viral load, the percent positivity, and the number of local outbreaks in high-risk settings 

2. The number of cases underestimates the actual number of people infected with the virus in the community because since 2022, testing (PCR, IDNow) is only done in high-risk settings (like hospitals or Long-Term Care Homes). 

Source: Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Case and Contact Management System, Timiskaming Health Unit.

3. Hospitalization data provides information about the impact of respiratory viruses on the healthcare system in Timiskaming. Patients who are in the hospital while waiting to be transferred to long-term care are not included, except during a hospital outbreak. An intensive care unit (ICU) is a hospital department that provides intensive care to critically ill patients. Timiskaming’s ICUs are classified as level 2. Patients with specialized or more critical needs are transferred to a non-local, larger hospital with specialized level 3 ICUs. Patients transferred out of Timiskaming for care are not included in this total.

Source: Ministry of Ontario, Capacity Planning and Analytics Division, Visual Analytics Hub – Bed Census summary, and data provided by local hospitals.

4. Deaths were not considered a contributing cause of death when there was a clear alternative cause, such as trauma, drug toxicity, or other natural death processes.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Case and Contact Management System, Timiskaming Health Unit.

5. The wastewater project is run through a partnership between the municipalities of Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming Shores, the Ontario Clean Water Agency, the Government of Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Sciences North Research Institute, and the Timiskaming Health Unit. The program is funded through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. For more information, visit the Ontario government’s COVID-19 wastewater monitoring webpage.

The viral load is the amount of virus found in the water, it is the 3 sample average mean of COVID-19 virus copies per millilitre. The viral load is biomarker and flow normalized, multiplied by 10 billion for ease of interpretation, and adjusted to represent the number of people in the sewershed.

6. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario). Ontario respiratory virus tool. Toronto, ON. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/Data-and-Analysis/Infectious-Disease/Respiratory-Virus-Tool

Additional respiratory illness data for Ontario can be found on Public Health Ontario’s Respiratory Virus Tool

 

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