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COVID-19 and flu each kill 2 more in N.B., 4 youths among 34 people hospitalized

A total of 1,248 New Brunswickers have now been hospitalized for or with COVID-19 since the start of the respiratory season on Aug. 27, and 84 of them were admitted to intensive care. (Shutterstock - image credit)
A total of 1,248 New Brunswickers have now been hospitalized for or with COVID-19 since the start of the respiratory season on Aug. 27, and 84 of them were admitted to intensive care. (Shutterstock - image credit)

COVID-19 and the flu have each killed two more New Brunswickers and hospitalized a combined total of 34 people, including four youths, updated figures from the province show.

COVID activity remains moderate and flu activity remains stable, according to Tuesday's Respiratory Watch report.

The two people who died from COVID between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 were both aged 65 or older. Both people who died from the flu during that same period were aged 65 or older, the Respiratory Watch report shows.

At least 1,009 New Brunswickers have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total is unclear because the province has counted only people who die in hospital as COVID deaths since September.

Twenty-two people were hospitalized for or with COVID during the reporting week, down from 36 in the previous report.

Five required intensive care, up from one.

A child under four is among those hospitalized. The others include one person aged 20 to 44, four aged 45 to 64, and 16 aged 65 or older.

The person aged 20 to 44 is the youngest of the five admitted to ICU.

8 outbreaks, 3 at nursing homes

There were eight lab-confirmed COVID outbreaks, down from 10, including three in nursing homes and five in "other facilities." These raise the total number of outbreaks since the respiratory season began on Aug. 27 to 306.

Eighty-six new cases of COVID have been confirmed through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) lab tests, up from 83.

The Moncton region saw the majority of the 86 COVID-19 and 102 flu cases between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, with 44 and 33 cases, respectively, the Respiratory Watch report shows.
The Moncton region saw the majority of the 86 COVID-19 and 102 flu cases between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, with 44 and 33 cases, respectively, the Respiratory Watch report shows.

The Moncton region saw the majority of the 86 COVID-19 and 102 flu cases between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, with 44 and 33 cases, respectively, the Respiratory Watch report shows. (CBC)

The actual number of cases is likely higher because only people with a referral from a health-care provider, and for whom the result will directly influence their treatment or care, have been able to get a PCR test since April, and the province stopped reporting positive rapid test results in September.

The positivity rate — the percentage of PCR lab tests performed that produced a positive result — remains unchanged again at seven per cent

Nearly 1,600 more New Brunswickers received the updated COVID XBB.1.5 vaccine in the past week, according to figures from the Department of Health. A total of 141,824 shots have now been administered since Oct. 4.

50% jump in confirmed flu cases

Flu sent 12 people to hospital during the reporting week, none of whom required intensive care — identical numbers to the previous week.

Three youths aged five to 19 are among those admitted to hospital. There are also three people aged 45 to 64, and six aged 65 or older.

Two outbreaks have been confirmed through lab tests. There were no outbreaks reported the previous week.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and flu in New Brunswick by week, between the start of the respiratory season on Aug. 27, 2023, and Feb. 3, 2024, compared to the historical cases.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and flu in New Brunswick by week, between the start of the respiratory season on Aug. 27, 2023, and Feb. 3, 2024, compared to the historical cases.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and flu in New Brunswick by week, between the start of the respiratory season on Aug. 27, 2023, and Feb. 3, 2024, compared to the historical cases. (Government of New Brunswick)

The number of "influenza-like illness" outbreaks at schools climbed to six, from five. No information about the schools affected or the extent of the outbreaks has been released.

School outbreaks are based on 10 per cent absenteeism in a school because of influenza-like illness symptoms, the report says.

New lab-confirmed flu cases jumped to 102 from 68 in a week — a 50 per cent increase.

The positivity rate increased to nine per cent, from seven.

The breakdown of the new cases includes 83 influenza A and 19 influenza B.

The respiratory seasonal total now stands at 2,321 cases.

More than 3,000 flu shots were administered in the past week, figures from the Department of Health show. A total of 215,571 New Brunswickers have been vaccinated against the flu this season.

CBC has requested an interview with Dr. Yves Léger, the province's acting chief medical officer of health.

15 Horizon health-care workers infected

Horizon Health Network has 15 health-care workers off the job as of Saturday, after they tested positive for COVID-19 with either a PCR or rapid test, according to itsweekly COVID-19 report.

That's the same number of infected staff who were absent a week ago.

Horizon has 26 active COVID-19 hospitalizations, two of whom are in intensive care. That's down from 30 hospitalizations and three ICU admissions in the previous report.

The number of Horizon hospital units with COVID outbreaks has dropped to one, as of Tuesday. The Moncton Hospital has an outbreak on the family practice unit.

Vitalité Health Network is stillupdating its COVID-19 report only monthly, typically on the last Tuesday of each month.

Itshospital outbreaks page is updated more frequently, but as of Tuesday afternoon, it hasn't been updated since Feb. 7, when the Restigouche Hospital Centre had an outbreak on the forensic psychiatry unit.