Friday, January 12, 2018

Northern Health continues to stress availability of flu shot as flu season begins to take hold across British Columbia

For those that have already suffered the effects of what has been a nasty bout of the flu making the rounds of the region, the thought that the season isn't considered to be all that bad to this point will be of little comfort.

The effects of the strain that seems to have taken hold over the holiday period for the most part knocks one off their feet for up to a week and has made for for a challenging experience for those that have had the  misfortune to contract the virus, which really does hit with a vengeance and requires some lengthy rest as perhaps the best course of action as it works its way through your system.

Northern Health has not released any kind of official numbers as of yet to provide a full overview of the current status of the flu season in the Northwest, but it's a safe bet that you know more than a few friends or family members that have suddenly gone off the radar for what seems to be the one week recovery period that the flu brings.

The most recent advisory from the BC Centre for Disease control is from January 6th and it notes that while the influenza activity remained elevate in BC, it was still considered to early to determine if the seasonal peak had been reached.

Across British Columbia, news accounts suggest that the cases are beginning to increase with concerns over potentials stresses to the health care system as we move into the high peak period ahead for the flu.

January 10 -- Increased number of flu cases at Abbotsford Hospital ER worries B.C. nurses union
January 8 -- Flu case numbers spiking across Canada, but peak could few weeks off: experts
January 8 -- Sick with the flu? Avoid the hospital and get some rest, say health officials
January 6 -- Mild influenza season so far: Northern Health
January 4 -- 4 dead as care facilities in B.C.'s Interior deal with flu outbreaks
January 4 -- Influenza season mild in the North
January 3 -- 'Influenza is here' with outbreaks at 5 Vancouver Island care homes

The flu is particularly hard on those who are elderly or have pre-existing health issues that can become exacerbated should they come in contact with the flu.

For those that haven't taken advantage of the flu vaccine program in the province, Northern Health is stressing that it isn't too late yet to get yours and hopefully gain a bit of relief from the rather strong attack that the flu has provided to this point.

We outlined some of the options for the North Coast when it comes to the flu shot in early November and you can review those notes here.

Northern Health has also provided a fact sheet on the 2018 Flu Season which highlights the risks of the flu and how you can best prepare to deal with it should it strike your or your family.

In addition to their notes on personal care when it comes to the flu, as we noted in December, all health facilities under Northern Health in the Northwest have a protocol in place when it comes to visitors to hospitals and care facilities, with those that have not had a flu shot for 2018 asked to wear a mask during any visits to those facilities during this current flu season.

As the flu season moves forward we'll track any updates from Northern Health, as well as other reports from across the Northwest through our Northern Health archive pages.

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