Monday , April 19 2021

Influenza flu hits Maritimeries hard and early because vaccinations are smaller

The flu is retained in the Maritimes as the new year begins.

It is the worst in New Brunswick, where the number of confirmed cases is already double compared to last year and there were three deaths.

What is not growing is the number of people who received a flu shot, despite the recurrence of a strain of flu once the fear.

No moment is a good time to get sick and get worse over holidays.

This year, the flu season really took off.

"It started earlier," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, head of the New Brunswick Medical Cabinet. "So the figures we see right now would normally see us at the end of January."

In New Brunswick, the number of cases is double compared to last year.

Between August and the end of December, there were 579 confirmed laboratory cases, 71 hospitalizations and three deaths.

Numbers are much smaller in the rest of the seas.

In Nova Scotia, there are 32 confirmed cases, 20 hospitalizations and no deaths

On Prince Edward Island, there were 20 cases, five hospitalizations, and there were no deaths.

The dominant strain is H1N1 if it sounds familiar because 10 years ago the World Health Organization declared a pandemic after hundreds of thousands of deaths were associated with this virus.

Before that, the strain had not been seen in decades, which meant that there was less immunity.

And now, a decade later, public health officials say they should not worry people.

"H1N1 first appeared for a long time in 2009, but it has been part of our regular flu season since then," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's medical director for health.

So adults have built up a bit of immunity but kids do not.

"The number of hospitalizations, most of them under the age of 65, and about 18% of them are children 10 years or younger," Russell said.

But even if you were immunized in 2009, that does not mean you do not have to take the flu this year.

It seems that this year is definitely worth getting the flu vaccine, "said Curtis Chafe, a pharmacist, and chairman of the board of the Nova Scotia Pharmacy Association.

All indicators indicate this year's vaccination as a good match. But to get maximum benefits, 80% of the population should get shot.

Currently, less than 50% of the new Scotland have done so.

"It seems that this year younger children are hit harder, and obviously the elderly," Chafe said. "But, indeed, what we have to do is make everyone vaccinated as much as we can to protect everyone else."

And one more thing before we wash our hands from the flu: Make sure you were clean, said Strang, who stressed the importance of a complete and frequent hand wash.

"If you cough or cuddle, do it in your cuff," Strang said. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home. "

You are particularly vulnerable if you already have a chronic health condition.

Health Canada does not yet have the latest figures until 2018, but as of 15 December, 22 people died of influenza at national level.

With files from Laura Brown at CTV Atlantic.

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