Areas in BC have been hit pretty hard with the flu. This year alone, 181 flu cases have been diagnosed on Vancouver Island. 5 patients have died. The north hasn’t had as many cases as other health authorities, but Northern Health is seeing an increase.
“It is certainly starting,” says a Medical Health Officer with Northern Health, Dr. Andrew Gray. “We do have one outbreak for example in a long-term care home, and we do expect more. We always have a fair number of them each year.”
This bug can hit people pretty hard. “H3N2 is the main strain of influenza that is circulating right now,” says Gray. “It’s not a new strain, it is one that we know does tend to hit certain people a little harder. Especially older people and people with chronic disease.”
Third Avenue Pharmacy saw an influx in customers displaying flu symptoms in the past couple of weeks. “We are seeing all sorts of flu,” says a Pharmacist, Patrick Dinelle. “People are getting fevers, headaches, chills, body aches. We are also seeing some stomach flues as well.”
His advice to those battling the bug is to get lots of rest and to stay hydrated. “There are certain medications that help treat a persons symptoms, but that would be customized for each person based on the symptoms they have.”
It is always a good idea to stay home when sick. “You don’t get the flu from being outside in the cold,” says Dinelle. “You get it from being inside more. So with the cold weather you might see people huddling together more which will increase contamination.”