Flu season not unusual despite confirmed cases of H1N1

  • Jan. 10, 2014 5:00 p.m.

There is nothing unusual about this year’s flu season, according to Northern Health, although there have been three confirmed cases of the H1N1 influenza strain on Haida Gwaii as of this week. Jacquie Hakes, northwest area manager for preventive public health, said Northern Health monitors all reported influenza cases and also tracks unusually high levels of school absences. So far this season, she said, there have been some confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in the northwest, with three on Haida Gwaii. Ms Hakes could not say if the three were in the north end or south end of the islands. “We are not seeing any unusual trends or peaks,” she said. “We are not experiencing anything unusual.” Ms Hakes said many people do get sick with the flu, stay at home until they recover, and don’t see a doctor, so it’s possible that there are cases of influenza that are not being reported. That happens every year, she said. Northern Health has been receiving some questions from the public about the flu, she said, probably due to increased activity in other parts of the province. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, influenza activity increased significantly in the last two weeks of December, with H1N1 the predominant strain. Northern Health is promoting immunization, and the flu shot is available at public health offices on the islands and at the pharmacy in Queen Charlotte.

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