While Greater Victoria is close to the end of flu season, there’s a chance another batch of cases may be seen in the next month or so. Black Press files

Worst is over, but flu bugs could linger around Victoria

Unusual season saw both influenza A and B strains experienced in region

As flu season nears its end, Island Health warns that we’re not quite out of the woods yet, and there could still be another wave in late February or March.

Dr. Dee Hoyano, Island Health medical health officer, said this year was an unusual one as two separate strains hit the region.

“Typically we get influenza A and then later on we get more of B,” she said. “This year it’s been a real mixed bag and we’ve seen B earlier this year.”

While peak activity has passed, Hoyano said the health authority was prepared for the high volume of flu cases seen this year. Across the Island, 248,000 doses of vaccine were distributed, an increase of roughly 20,000 from last season.

“In terms of what we’re actually seeing on the ground, the majority of people going into hospital [with the flu] are the elderly or others suffering with chronic ailments,” she explained, adding the surge in visits is always expected around influenza time.

RELATED: Getting influenza raises heart attack risk, especially in seniors: study

A recent Canadian study published in the New England Journal of Medicine linked the occurrence of heart attacks with influenza. The risk of suffering a heart attack is six times higher in the seven days after you’ve been diagnosed with the flu, it stated.

“We know it is a systematic infection,” Hoyano said. “The [flu puts] a lot of stress on your body; your immune system is working harder and often times it puts demand on your heart and lungs.”

Knowing your health status and that of your family members is important when deciding whether or not to get the flu shot, Hoyano said. “The vaccine is really important … for people who are at higher risk of heart disease,” she added.

And, if you want to get the flu shot, there’s still time. The vaccine protects against multiple strains of influenza, even if you’ve already been sick. To find out if you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine, visit VIHA.ca/flu.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Alleged child abduction attempt in Langford a family issue, RCMP say

Const. Matt Baker with West Shore RCMP says parents should not worry

‘Spread love’: UVic Pride replaces white supremacy posters in Victoria

Around 50 people walked through downtown on Nov. 12 to share posters of love

Building permits up, but residential construction softening in Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria led the province in issuing new building permits in August

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Feds kickstart Indigenous Guardians program with $5.7M in early funding

Part of $25M announcement from March to commit financial help for First Nations to remain stewards of their land

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Vancouver Island leadfoot clocked doing 143 km/h in an 80 km/h zone

Driver issued $483 ticket, has vehicle impounded after pinging RCMP radar in Lantzville

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Most Read