Influenza cases have been spiking across Canada and the infectious-disease experts have given a warning that the worst is yet to come. The flu breakout this year resembles the one in 2014-15 which hit the country hard with the H3N2 virus.
The virus was strong which is why vaccines were not as effective, causing it to spread all over the country. Most of the affected are the elderly as a number of outbreaks have been reported in long-term care facilities.
A major increase was seen in flu cases over the holidays, but reports from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control show there might be a new surge following the flu outbreak. The steep increase in the flu outbreak was seen between the dates of December 11 to 17. A total of 692 positive flu cases were observed in that week where H3N2 was the common strain detected.
The week before that saw 554 confirmed cases and the B.C. Centre of Disease Control says it still has not peaked yet. People who were over 65 were the ones that accounted for most of the admissions and death count in the hospitals.
While there is tension in the air, there is a ray of hope as experts are commenting that this year’s flu vaccine would be a lot more potent than the ones used in 2014-15 breakouts. Previous vaccines had an effectiveness rate against H3N2 of just 10 percent. There was a serious lack in estimating the effect of the vaccine on the virus as it was not a good genetic match. This year, the new vaccine will protect against H1N1 and a B strain.
Although this is still estimation, the flu shot available in the country right now is the best protection against the influenza virus. Experts are hopeful they will be able to create a universal vaccine that will be able to treat all flu symptoms. Till then, go down to your nearest clinic and get the flu shot administered.
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