It was a severe flu season in our part of the province.
This according to Interior Health who says there were 1,026 lab-confirmed influenza cases in the wider region this year compared to 539 during the same time last year.
Dr. Geetha Raghukumar admits the rise may be connected to an increase in public awareness, and therefor more people reporting symptoms, or more people may actually have gotten sick.
“It is definitely an increasing concern if we see more number of cases,” Raghukuman asserts. “Because we are looking at more complications of influenza especially in the elderly people and the immune compromised population such as young children and pregnant ladies. So, that’s definitely a concern for us.”
The doctor says what’s especially worrisome to them is how many cases of Influenza B strain they saw so early in the season.
Influenza B almost exclusively infects humans, and is less common, while the Flu Type A is more harmful and transmitted by animals as well.
Raghukumar adds Interior Health is currently reviewing this past season to determine how many people received a flu shot.
Alberta Health Services said this week this year’s death toll from lab-confirmed influenza reached 86 – up from 62 last year.
Interior Health does not track deaths related to influenza.
– Dr. Geetha Raghukumar