Canada is currently dealing with one of the worst flu seasons that we have seen in years. Two strains of the flu virus are causing particular issues, and experts say we are nearing peak infections.
The concerning virus strains include one called H3N2, and it primarily targets the elderly, while the other is a B strain called B/Yamagata and will affect adults as well as children.
B/Yamagata is expected to reach peak infections sometime in January while H3N2 may not peak until spring. Public Health officials stated that as of Dec. 30, both strains are responsible for 11,277 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu, and 70 percent of those are the H3N2 virus. Thus far, over 1,000 of those infected have been hospitalised, and 34 people have died. It is expected that these numbers could be higher as many infected will not seek medical attention.
Officials warn that anyone with heart or lung conditions or anyone with higher risk of complication seeks medical help if flu-like symptoms arise. In most cases, Antivirals can be prescribed and may be life-saving.
Experts estimate this flu-season is seeing drastic numbers because the flu vaccine administered is less efficient, finding that it is only 10% effective against H3N2.