Health Authorities say BC experiencing second wave of Influenza A

Mar 22 2019, 6:12 pm

Flu season could be far from over — that’s the latest finding in a report from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

The health authority explains that British Columbia is experiencing a second, late-season wave of influenza A. Although this flu season has seen fewer outbreaks than normal, the last three weeks have seen a 50% increase in the number of patients reported.

It’s also too soon to tell whether this second wave has peaked, according to the BCCDF.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) notes that three of their sites are currently experiencing flu outbreaks, however, they assure that the late occurrence is nothing out of the ordinary.

“What we are seeing now is normal,” says Tiffany Akins, Communications at VCH. “Though it’s just a little later in the flu season.”

Akins explains that influenza season peaks in January, typically with the A strain, then transitions to influenza B towards the end of the season.

“Right now, most of the cases are influenza A,” she says.

The BCCDC report states that virtually all (98%) detections this past season have been influenza A and that influenza B is unusually low.

Health Authorities also urge that it’s not too late to receive a flu shot if you haven’t already.

“It’s not too late,” says Akins. “Be sure to call ahead to ensure the vaccine is still in stock. Flu season is typically declared over in April.”

“This is a good time to remind people that if you’re going to any of our sites you should have had the flu shot or wear a mask so that we can protect our vulnerable patients.”