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COVID, influenza hospitalizations on the rise: Public Health

By Brad Perry Dec 20, 2023 | 5:30 AM

New Brunswick saw a spike in the number of COVID and influenza hospitalizations during the most recent reporting period.

The latest Respiratory Watch report showed 73 COVID hospitalizations between Dec. 3 and 9, with six people admitted to an intensive care unit.

That was compared to 51 hospitalizations and seven ICU admissions reported during the previous week.

Most of the patients — 54 of them — were aged 65 and over. There were also 14 people aged 45 to 64, four aged 20 to 44, and one under the age of five.

The ICU admissions involved three people aged 65 and over, two aged 45 to 64 and one aged 20 to 44, according to the weekly report.

Two more patients with COVID died in the hospital during that week, which was similar to the previous week. One was aged 65 and over while the other was aged 45 to 64.

“COVID-19 activity remains moderate; some indicators remained stable throughout the current reporting period, although an increase was observed in hospitalizations as well as number of outbreaks reported,” said the report.

There were 167 new COVID cases reported — up from 138 the previous week — and the test positivity rate remained stable at 13 per cent.

However, the actual number of new cases is likely much higher as PCR tests are only available when requested by a primary care provider.

In addition, there were 27 lab-confirmed COVID outbreaks reported, including six in nursing homes, compared to 13 outbreaks the week before.

Reported flu cases spike

Meanwhile, New Brunswick is reporting an increase in the number of people with influenza.

Public Health said there were 164 cases reported between Dec. 3 and 9, up from 83 cases the week before. There have been 350 cases so far this season.

There were 37 people admitted to the hospital, including two to an intensive care unit. That was compared to 15 hospitalizations and two ICU admissions the previous week.

The hospitalizations included 24 people aged 65 and over, five people aged 45 to 64, two people aged 20 to 44, four people aged five to 19, and two people under the age of five.

The ICU admissions involved people between the ages of 45 and 64, according to the report.

Public Health said eight new influenza-like illness school outbreaks were reported during the week, up from three the previous week.