There has been a sudden spike in flu cases in BC and there have been 28 reported cases of flu in the hospitals and long term care facilities. The strain which has been identified as the causative flu virus is especially hard on the geriatrics.
According to B.C. Centre for Disease Control 31% of all the patients tested positive for flu in the week 51 while it is 45% in week 52. Most of the cases were identified as the H3N2 strain. For the period in between December 14th to 27th, there have been 28 new cases of Flu. 25 patients have been admitted into long term care facilities and 3 in acute care. The total cases reported this year is almost double those reported last year for the corresponding period. Most of the cases were of the H1N1 strain.
BCCDC’s spokeswoman on the topic, Dr. Danuta Skowronski feels that this year’s strain is particularly severe because it has mutated and is different from the one which WHO predicted when it chooses a vaccine. H3N2 viruses are particularly virulent and evolve quickly and change more often than H1N1 and it is particularly harsh on the elderly.
Experts are particularly worried by the number of outbreaks in the care facilities which has been particularly high this year. It is not the case of the outbreak being located to only the BC area. It is the same story in other parts of Canada. Labs across the country are reporting a sharp increase in the number for the fifth week in succession. Alberta, Ontario and Quebec top in the flu cases while the numbers are increasing in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
The spike in Flu cases have been reported in neighboring U.S also.In fact WHO has stated that there has been a sharp increase in flu related cases in the Northern Hemisphere with US passing the seasonal threshold.
And it’s not only Canada, because influenza activity was also reported on the increase in the U.S. The World Health Organization reported a rise in flu cases throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with North American cases passing the seasonal threshold.