Lots of vaccine, flu season normal: Northern Health

  • Jan. 20, 2014 8:00 p.m.

This year’s flu season is proceeding normally and there is plenty of flu vaccine still available in northern BC, Northern Health officials said in a special conference call Friday morning. The call was organized to provide an update on cases of influenza in the region due to high media interest. Dr. William Osei, the medical health officer for the northern interior, said there has been a total of 63 lab-confirmed cases of influenza in northern BC so far this season – 23 in the northwest region, 30 in the interior, and 10 in the northeast. Nine cases have ended up in hospital and there have been no deaths. During last year’s flu season, 136 cases were confirmed. With one or two months left to go in this season, this year’s numbers are not at all abnormal, he said. The flu season usually peaks in late December and early January, he said. If people are feeling sick with flu symptoms, he said, they should stay home so they don’t infect others. Meanwhile, Northern Health received more than 80,000 doses of flu vaccine this year, and has so far distributed 20,000 of them through public health offices, said Mary Margaret Proudfoot, regional manager of the communicable disease program. There are about 300,000 people in northern BC. “Clinics are continuing,” she said. “We are doing very well with our supply of vaccine at this time.” If one area runs short of vaccine, more will be redistributed, she said. Flu vaccines are available at the public health offices on Haida Gwaii. Call 626-4727 or 559-2350 for an appointment.

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