Flu cases in Canada way down

The flu

So far this year, there have been just 17 confirmed cases of the flu in Canada, even though we're testing twice as many people as usual.

At this point during last year's flu season, Canada had already recorded 711 positive cases of influenza.

Dr. Gerald Evans, the chair of infectious disease in the department of medicine at Queen's University, says all the hand-washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing we are doing to prevent COVID-19 is also helping keep the flu at bay.

In 2019, there were 60 people hospitalized with the flu in the first week of November, but this year provinces and territories haven't reported a single flu-related admission.

Evans says that's going to help hospitals cope with the surging numbers of COVID-19, when they aren't also trying to manage a typical flu season.

Canada's flu season is mimicking what happened in the southern hemisphere earlier this year, where Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa all reported drastically lower levels of flu.