Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Medical | By

Flu activity begins to spike across country

Flu activity begins to spike across country

The predominant strain now circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years.

There have been at least two deaths, according to Ottawa Public Health, both involving adults over the age of 65 - one in November and one in December.

Cadieux noted that flu season peaked early this year in Alberta, but has yet to peak in Ottawa.

"It's a different season, different profile".

It is recommended that people still get the flu vaccination if they have not already.

"Flu activity has taken off our projection is that it's going to continue to increase, probably for the next few months", says Dr. Andrew Walshak with Presbyterian/ St. Luke's Medical Center. If you are sick, avoiding people who are hospitalized, undergoing cancer treatment, or who have diabetes or other chronic illnesses is a good idea.

Last season at that point, 11,275 cases of lab-confirmed flu had been reported.

It's been less severe so far this year, but federal health officials say they're now seeing sharp increases in flu activity nationwide. That's more than double the activity of the previous week.

Seventy-one of those kids had to be admitted to the ICU. "It's just a slow upward, so we're only at the beginning of flu season right now". Severe complications of influenza infection include pneumonia which can lead to hospitalization and death. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine". H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain.

The most effective way to protect against the flu is to get a dose of seasonal flu vaccine.

"It's not too late".

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