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Buckle up: Flu season yet to peak in Canada

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, January 11, 2018, 6:58 PM - If you've managed to evade getting sick this year, count your blessings.

Another word of advice?

Hold on. Experts are saying this year's cold and flu season, which has been worse than usual, will peak in Canada in the weeks to come.

This has been a particularly nasty year because there are two dominant strains circulating: H3N2, a whopper of a virus, along with a B strain, which causes less severe sickness. While the latter tends to target the elderly, the B strain often infects children. Both strains arrived around the same time, which is rare.

Further compounding the issue is this year's flu shot. While it's still too early to know how effective the vaccine will be in Canada, Australia and Hong Kong only saw about 10 per cent effectiveness against H3N2, according to The Toronto Star. Regardless, experts still recommend getting the flu shot, because there are multiple strains of viruses going around.

The effects of the season are already being seen across the country, with 19 confirmed flu deaths in Alberta and four deaths in London, Ontario. That region has been particularly hard hit recently, with 90 hospitalizations in the past three weeks and 22 outbreaks between December 17 and January 6.

To date, Canada has reported 34 influenza-related deaths this year, with eight to 10 weeks left to go in the season.


Protecting yourself from the flu

Many of us have home remedies that we hold near and dear, but doctors say the best ways to prevent the flu, and stop the spread of it if you have it, are simple:

  • Get the flu shot
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Stay home if you're sick

VIDEO: Flu shot myths debunked:

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