There are still about 50,000 people across Canada with active cases of a rare but potentially deadly neurological disease linked to a strain of influenza infection, a federal government survey released Thursday shows.
But the number of people with the CVID-19 strain has been declining across the country as people become more aware of how dangerous flu can be, and are increasingly willing to get their kids immunized against it, according to the report.
The majority of children and young adults in every age group between the ages of 2 and 24 who responded to the survey are currently vaccinated against CVID-19. Parents of young children aged 2 to 8 were the most likely group to get their children vaccinated against the illness, with 82 percent reporting that they’ve done so. However, just a quarter of the roughly 33,000 infants and toddlers aged 8 months to 2 years old are currently vaccinated.
Even with vaccination rates high, the severity of the case of CVID-19 has affected more than twice as many children in Ontario as has the adult flu season.
The organization that commissioned the research, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, orICES, is expected to release further details about the survey, including the number of specific results, and next steps, in January.
The last CVID-19 surveillance report, issued in November, showed 17 residents between the ages of 19 and 24 had the disease, which is caused by infections of a virus called coronavirus that are caused by the virus H1N1. It was first identified in the outbreak of coronavirus in Hong Kong in 1997. It’s caused more than 20,000 cases across 25 countries.
Toronto Public Health was the first in the country to see a spike in cases after CVID-19 was identified in a city resident from Windsor. Toronto Public Health has been in contact with healthcare facilities around the world about the virus, and about six companies contracted to make vaccines, drugs and vaccines adapted to reduce exposure have issued statements about what they will do, if needed.
It has yet to be determined if the strain is spread by contact with other people, or if it is a matter of sharing specific microorganisms. An international team of researchers recently identified the strain that led to the outbreak as carried by a man traveling through Asia and Singapore, but their research focused on surveillance of the virus after the fact. It’s unclear whether that strain will spread far and wide during the current flu season, which typically ends in late January.