Winter is typically the season for respiratory infections. Alberta is seeing a rise in infections such as influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Covid-19.
Children’s hospitals in Alberta are under intense pressure as they deal with an influx of sick kids and a growing number of seriously ill kids. Here is what to do if your child does not feel well.
- Stay home when feeling sick.
- Make the choice to stay up to date on your vaccinations and speak to a physician or other care provider if you have questions about options.
- Wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask can help reduce the risk of becoming sick and help protect others from being exposed. Albertans should be supported regardless of their choice to mask or not.
- If possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Regularly clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Maintain good respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid or limit time spent in crowded indoor places.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items at home, especially when someone in your home is sick.”
Booking immunization appointments
Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are available at participating pharmacies and community medical clinics and select AHS sites. Bookings are available through the Alberta Vaccine Booking System at alberta.ca/vaccine or by calling Health Link at 811.
Some pharmacies can accommodate walk-ins. If your local pharmacy is not listed in the booking system, contact them directly or visit bluecross.ca to find a pharmacy near you.
Individuals who live on a First Nations reserve can access immunization appointments through nursing stations or public health clinics on-reserve.
- Influenza typically begins with a sudden onset of fever, body aches, headache and fatigue. Most healthy people will recover from influenza in seven to 10 days, but it can take a couple of weeks to fully recover.
- Influenza statistics are available at alberta.ca/influenza and are updated weekly through the season.
- RSV is one of the most common viral infections of childhood, especially during the colder months. While not considered a risk to the general public, almost all children will have an RSV infection by the time they are two years of age.
- For many kids, RSV symptoms look like a common cold. For others, including young babies or children with lung diseases or weakened immune systems, symptoms can be more severe and lead to bronchiolitis or pneumonia.