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Flu cases well below expected levels this season: Public Health

Baba Health Tips

In this study, it appears like that very few Canadians are getting sick with the flu this year.

According to some researchers, The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that flu cases are well below expected levels for this time of the year. But that doesn’t mean that there might not be a few outbreaks come January.

By this time last year, there had been 95 outbreaks, including 84 in long-term care homes.

As well, only eight flu patients have been admitted to hospital intensive care units so far this year; last year, by this time, there had been 312 hospitalizations.

Dr. Richard Schabas, the medical administrator of health for Hastings Prince Edward Country says that one might suppose that the warm weather that eastern Canada has been enjoying could be the reason behind the small numbers. But even parts of Canada dealing with a generally cold winter are still seeing very little flu.

Flu activity is likely to crest this time of year in part because holiday get-togethers are the perfect spot or the virus to spread.

Schabas says it’s possible that the warm weather may be a factor in why there haven’t been many flu outbreaks, since we are spending a little more time outdoors. But it could be simply that this is a quiet year for influenza.

Schabas thinks our flu immunity is likely the biggest factor in this year’s low flu numbers. He notes that last year was “a very busy flu season” and it’s possible that Canadians who were infected or immunized last year are still carrying that immunity into this year.

Symptoms of the flu are parallel to the frequent cold, but also include a high fever of 39 degrees Celsius and over, as well as extreme fatigue, headache and muscle aches. It takes one to four days for flu symptoms to become visible after exposure to the virus and most people recuperate within a week to 10 days.

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