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Everyone In Canada Is Getting Sick RN — Here's How To Know What You Have

There are RSV, COVID-19 and flu symptoms you can monitor. 😷

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Someone in a winter coat wearing a face mask exits a Montreal metro station.

Someone in a winter coat wearing a face mask exits a Montreal metro station.

Since the onset of the pandemic, a myriad of viral illnesses has wreaked havoc on everyone's lungs.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) recently joined the roster of winter infections across Canada, though often getting confused with COVID-19 and the seasonal flu due to their overlapping symptoms. All three are spread through aerial transmission and can lead to hospitalization (or death, in the most severe cases).

The latest "Respiratory Virus Report" from Health Canada shows influenza A is the top airborne culprit nationwide, but RSV cases are on the rise.

Quebec shows the highest number of positive cases in the country for COVID-19 (4,885) and the flu (2,817), according to the most recent public test results from the week ending on December 17. The province placed fourth for RSV cases (455), with most infections recorded in Ontario (701), the Prairies (697) and B.C. (552).

With the variety of respiratory viruses going around this time of year, the federal health agency advises getting tested to make sure you know what you have so that it can be treated properly.

If you're still at the early monitoring stage, here's a breakdown of Health Canada's symptoms for each:

RSV

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Bronchitis
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Decrease in appetite and energy
  • Otitis (redness and swelling of the external ear canal)

Influenza A

Primary:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches and pain

Secondary:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

    COVID-19

    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose
    • Sneezing
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Temperature equal to or more than 38°C
    • Feeling feverish
    • Chills
    • Fatigue or weakness
    • Muscle or body aches
    • New loss of smell or taste
    • Headache
    • Abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting
    • Feeling very unwell
      Sofia Misenheimer
      MTL Blog, Associate Editor
      Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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