2 more flu deaths in county bring season’s death toll to 11

10 January, 2019, 19:39 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • 2 more flu deaths in county bring season’s death toll to 11

According to officials, there is high flu activity throughout the state so it's important for those who have not yet gotten a flu shot-especially health care workers-to get one.

Since September, PHAC says 414 children under age 16 have been hospitalized for flu, with the highest estimated rate of admission among kids under five years of age. Thirteen flu-related deaths have been reported nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Mema says it's close to being the peak of the flu season, it can stick around well into March.

"We are seeing the shift from the elderly people in the last couple of years, while this year is more of a younger demographic", said Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Medical Health Officer. For those who get a flu shot and still contract influenza, symptoms tend to be milder and not last as long, research has shown.

According to the province's influenza surveillance report, six people have died of the flu as of December 29, and the Ministry of Health has confirmed three were children under the age of five. That applies to data collected on both adults and children.

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Traditionally, the H1N1 component is better at halting the spread of that strain of the virus, compared to H3N2, which has a greater propensity to genetically mutate, often in the manufacturing process. "When you get vaccinated, you are not just protecting yourself, you are also protecting the people you love". "So, I tell patients it's never too late to get your flu shot".

Experts say it takes about two weeks to build up immunity against the virus after getting vaccinated.

No other details regarding the child's death have been released at this time.

Limerick-based Dr Kevin Kelleher, the assistant national director in health protection, said that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when the flu begins to actively circulate in the community.

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