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October 27, 2017 11:43 pm

Northern Health Reports Spike in Flu Activity

Friday, March 18, 2016 @ 2:37 PM

Prince George, B.C. – A later than average start to the flu season has led to a spike in the number of people with flu symptoms the last few weeks.

But Dr. Raina Fumerton, medical health officer for Northern Health, says the increase is nothing out of the ordinary.

“Every flu season is different and it’s always such an interesting organism to follow from a public health perspective so it always does surprise,” she says. “So this is a bit of a late spike which can happen.”

This flu season to date, Fumerton says 94 lab confirmed cases have been reported to Northern Health, 41 in the last two weeks (though she notes those 94 cases are just the tip-of-the-iceberg considering many people never report their illness).

She says the majority of cases have been the influenza A strain and have been spread across the region – 30 in the Northwest, 50 in the Northern Interior, and 14 in the Northeast.

As a result of the spike, she’s reminding people that it’s never too late to receive the flu vaccine. She also says people should take the following steps to further reduce their chance of getting the flu. These include:

– Practicing frequent and proper hand hygiene using an alcohol based sanitizer regularly and making sure you wash your hands appropriately.

– Observing coughing and sneezing etiquette – for example coughing or sneezing into your shoulder, not onto your hand or in the air.

– Staying home if you’re sick.

If you have questions about your illness Fumerton encourages you to consult with your family doctor, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or visit healthlinkbc.ca for additional information.

According to Northern Health, hundreds of people in B.C. die each year from influenza or complications from influenza.


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