With the cold and wet winter months among us, the flu season is definitely following with it. While many of us get over the flu within a few days, the Government of Canada’s FluWatch has reported that the H1N1 strand of the flu is extremely prominent this season.
If you don’t remember, the H1N1 strand of the flu virus caused a serious flu epidemic in 2009. The strand of H1N1 that is in a majority of flu cases this year is similar to that of the 2009 thread. The Public Health Agency of Canada even warns that since this H1N1 strand has not been prominent for nine years that many Canadians likely don’t have immunity to it anymore.
This flu strand has seemed to hit some provinces more than others, yet the H1N1 has started to appear all throughout Canada this flu season. Since August 26, 2018, over 5,674 H1N1 flu cases have been reported throughout Canada.
That means that over 42% of those who catch the flu this year have been infected with the H1N1 strand. Through these flu cases over 1,046 hospitalizations have been reported as well as 86 outbreaks of H1N1 throughout the nation.
Alberta comes in 1st as the province that has been affected by H1N1 the most, with a reported 2,954 cases throughout this flu season. That’s over half of the total recorded flu cases this year. Saskatchewan comes in 2nd with 1,060 recorded cases.
British Columbia comes in a close 3rd with 816 cases of the H1N1 flu strand recorded. While Ontario follows behind that with a recorded 459 cases.
While Ontario is the 4th most affected province this flu season, it is facing a series of localized activity throughout the province. This means that Ontario is facing a variety of H1N1 outbreaks throughout public hospitals or a public institution. Most of central Ontario has been facing these localized outbreaks throughout this flu season.
Ontario is also predicted to be hit hard in the upcoming few weeks and flu cases are expected to dramatically rise.
If you catch the flu this season, regardless of the strand, it is encouraged for you to stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the illness. Also, make sure to be washing your hands, coughing or sneezing in a tissue or your sleeve and avoid physical contact with the people around you.
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Symptoms of the H1N1 flu are often similar to other flu strains which include a fever, cough and muscle pain. Some other common symptoms include a headache, chill, sore throat, nausea, and a runny nose. If your flu symptoms worsen and you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion or server vomiting, the Government of Canada recommends seeking immediate medical attention.
Stay safe this flu season.
Source: Government of Canada