As many of you are aware, flu season is starting to make its appearance yet again this winter. Yet, this year’s flu season is a bit different as it marks the return of the H1N1 flu that hasn’t been predominant since the 2009 Swine Flu epidemic. As flu season continues into the New Year, experts warn that the H1N1 and other flu viruses are going to reach their peak throughout Ontario, including Toronto.
Just last week, Narcity broke the news that H1N1 virus is back and hitting Canada hard during this flu season. This flu season has been predominated by the H1N1 strand and over 5,674 H1N1 cases have been reported since August 26, 2018. This specific strand of flu has caused over 1,046 hospitalizations. The H1N1 tends to target children and younger adults the most and is expected to fill up hospitals within the next few weeks.
Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead of influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the BC Centre for Disease Control states, "This year we can anticipate that emergency rooms, out-patient visits will be greater because younger people are being affected by the H1N1,”.
Dr. Skowronski reports that Ontario had a slower start to the flu season compared to other provinces, such as Alberta. Ontario is just starting to get into their flu season and just this past week the amount of flu cases has doubled throughout Ontario.
Bird Box Challenge Fail, H1N1 Virus Is Back, Drake In Hot Water And More
Ontario is expected to see peaked flu activity in the next couple weeks as the virus continues to spread. People who get the flu are recommended to stay home as the virus spreads more easily in group settings. It is also advised to prevent the flu by getting your flu shot, washing your hands often and cleaning items and surfaces that are shared among multiple people.
Toronto already seems to be entering this peak of the flu season, according to the KFL&A Public Health Flu Tracker, Toronto Public Health and Durham Regional Health Unit are already dealing with an elevated number of flu cases. While the York Regional Health Unit is dealing with a high number of flu cases, with over 697 related flu cases from December 30 to January 5.
So, make sure to get that flu shot before flu season hits its peak throughout Ontario in the next coming weeks!