Increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Gjoa Haven

Press Release

08 July 2022

Public Health Advisory

Increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Gjoa Haven

The Department of Health is advising the residents of Gjoa Haven of an increase of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in the community. To date, nine children in the community have confirmed RSV infections.
Nunavummiut can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by keeping surfaces clean, wearing a mask, physical distancing, staying home when sick, washing hands often and coughing and sneezing into their elbows.

To ensure children have the greatest possible protection from severe illness due to RSV, Palivizumab continues to be available throughout Nunavut.

Palivizumab is offered to:

  • Premature infants born at 35 weeks or less and who are six months or younger.
  • Children under 12 months who have:
    • Chronic lung disease of prematurity (CLD), defined as a need for oxygen at 36 weeks gestational age, who are currently requiring ongoing supplemental oxygen and/or medical therapy such as diuretics, bronchodilators, or steroids;
    • o Hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease requiring supplemental oxygen and/or ongoing medical therapy such as diuretics, bronchodilators, or steroids.
  • Children under 24 months who have:
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/CLD requiring ongoing supplemental oxygen or who were weaned off supplemental oxygen in the past three months.
  • Palivizumab may also be considered for children under 24 months with immunodeficiencies, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, upper airway obstruction, or chronic pulmonary disease other than CLD only if they are on home oxygen, have prolonged hospitalization for severe pulmonary disease, or are severely immunocompromised.

Influenza vaccines for Nunavummiut six months and older continue to be available through health centres and public health units. Palivizumab will be offered to all children meeting the above risk factors.


Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Specialist
Department of Health


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