Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

Flu season in Saskatchewan at its peak

Flu season in Saskatchewan at its peak

"We're really just now getting into our flu season", said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, noting that the proportion of tests on people with respiratory bugs that came back positive for influenza had doubled to 16 per cent in the week ending December 29, compared to eight per cent the week before.

CDC officials say there were 510 confirmed influenza cases through January 5 - down from 768 during the same time period in 2017-2018.

"It's not too late in the season to get your flu shot", said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

But if you have underlying medical conditions, are pregnant, or have other high-risk conditions, you may be likely to get more serious infections, hospitalization, or even death from flu complications, so experts say don't try to manage the illness alone.

In short, there is still time for you to get your flu shot and keep influenza at bay during this year's flu season which would be led by H1N1 influenza strain which is threatening kids and young adults more than other segments of the population.

Getting flu shots at U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks. Moreover, they are getting ready for next season with plans in place to purchase double the amount of anti-flu vaccines in autumn 2019, up from 41,000 a year ago to 80,000 for 2019. "For other vaccines, immunization rates are 80, 90 per cent, so I'd love for people to get immunized more".

Flu vaccine for adults 19 years and older is $30, with High-Dose flu vaccine for adults 65 years and older $50. "In addition, we have vaccinated against this strain of H1N1 in 2009 and every year since", says Dr. Warshawsky.

Quinton didn't receive an influenza vaccination, his father says, because the school program that was supposed to give him his flu shot didn't follow through.

Get the flu shot - Protective effects from the flu shot occur approximately two weeks after receiving it.

Last April, 5-year-old Mia Lobo from Carpentersville died from complications of the flu. "With the flu, it's much greater congestion, especially in your chest".

"They believe we have already peaked", said Burton.

According to the CDC, a person sick with influenza can infect anyone within a six-foot radius. When circulating viruses are substantially different from those in the vaccine, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced.

"In terms of whether the flu season has peaked or not, we really don't know", Price said.

"Patients with flu-like symptoms should only go to the hospital if they are experiencing severe respiratory distress, have a compromised immune system or are either very old or very young", said Dr. Ashraf Khan, System Director Epidemiology/Infect Control at Lee Health.

Like this: