The respiratory illness season started earlier than usual this year and is particularly challenging with more people experiencing greater severity of symptoms. We are seeing lots of Covid-19, Influenza A, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the community and within our acute care settings.
Unfortunately, the flu season is anticipated to be severe this year, assuming we are likely to follow the pattern observed in Australia, as we usually do.
“If you have a bunch of children, like me, you have probably been met head-on with respiratory illness within the past month. You may have also experienced the perfect storm of viruses within your household! Someone had Influenza A, others had a viral upper respiratory tract infection, and then they decided to share the virus love and swap. The confluence of different viruses makes for a challenging time in your efforts to stay healthy,” says Dr. Ingemaud Gerber, INLIV Medical Director.
RSV is a common childhood infection with the usual symptoms including a runny nose, cough, and sometimes some wheezing. Most will recover with supportive care at home. However, in our young children, it may lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis – and that is when you may end up at the Children’s Hospital, sometimes requiring oxygen, or worse, if the child needs to be admitted into the hospital.
Older individuals contracting RSV may take longer to recover, so it’s important to try to protect them from exposure.
You can follow the weekly updates on influenza activity in Alberta here.
Respiratory Illness Vaccinations at INLIV
We offer regular and high dose flu shots at INLIV, with the high dose vaccine being reserved for individuals 65+ years of age.
- We recently added Prevnar 20 pneumonia vaccines at INLIV.
- This vaccine is available to anyone 18+ years of age
- It’s highly recommended for all individuals age 50+
- If you have received Prevnar 13 previously, you are eligible to receive Prevnar 20 after one year following your Prevnar 13 dose
- If you have had both Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23, it is recommended you wait at least five years before getting Prevnar 20.
- If you had Pneumovax 23 only, you should also wait 5 years before getting Prevnar 20
If you have questions regarding which vaccines you should receive and at what interval, please speak with your doctor for advice specific to your needs and concerns.