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Flu season past its peak but 'isn't over yet', Provincial Health Officer says

Last Updated Jan 25, 2019 at 9:57 am PDT

(Source: iStock)
Summary

B.C.'s top doctor says we're past the peak of flu season, but she warns it's not over yet

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry admits the flu shot is not perfect, but adds it's the best protection

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We’re past the peak, but not out of the woods yet.

That’s the message from B.C.’s top doctor as flu season continues, and this one has hit a bit differently than in years past.

It’s the H1N1 strain that has led to a lot of sickness among young people this year, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explains.

“75 per cent of our cases are in young children, particularly those under the age of ten and also young adults.”

She adds older people seem to have some sort of resistance to that strain, but have still been dealing with H3N2, a type that has been more prevalent over the last couple of years.

As for whether this season has been weaker than others, Henry says it depends on how you look at it, pointing out younger people are better able to fight the virus.

“Having said that, we have a lot of younger people and children who have ended up in hospital because the sheer numbers of people who have been affected. So, there has been quite a few young people have ended up in ICU.”

Henry admits the flu shot is not perfect by any means, but says it’s certainly the best protection.

“There’s still lots of the season left and it can provide protection, particularly for young people. But the other important things are to wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay home and away from others if you’re sick.”

Flu season generally lasts into March or even April, Henry adds.