Another tough flu season hits Canada, affecting children harder

Henrietta Strickland
January 8, 2019

Rates, however, were higher among young children and the elderly (14.5 and 11.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively), as these populations are more susceptible to complications of the flu. During mild seasons, around 12,000 people die of the flu. The predominant strain now circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years.

Very young children, however, have not had as much opportunity to erect defences against H1N1. Nationally, about 4% of outpatient appointments were related to the flu during the week ending December 29.

Also, it's not too late to get the flu shot and doctors say you can not get the flu from the vaccine.

The 2018-2019 flu season is starting to pick up in the United States, with the infection considered to be widespread in two dozen states, according to the Centers for Disease Control. "During cold and flu season, it's not rude!" he said.

"But as we see a jump in activity as we did this week, we would expect an increase in hospitalizations, and unfortunately, probably an increase in mortality", Brammer said.

Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said another anomaly this season is that influenza began spreading earlier than usual in some parts of the country, especially on the Prairies.

Still, this flu season is not expected to be as deadly as past year when nearly 80,000 people died. "I expect activity to continue for several more weeks".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports almost half the country is experiencing "widespread flu activity", while here in IL we are seeing regional activity.

A midseason evaluation of efficacy of this year's vaccine is not expected until late January or early February, but Dr. Tam said early signs point to the shot working better this year than last year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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