Flu season is expected to peak sometime over the next week or two which is causing the Saskatchewan office of the chief medical health officer reminding residents to take extra caution.
Cold weather combined with interaction between people during the holidays has Dr. Saqib Shahab warning people to take precaution.
Dr. Shahab, who is the Chief Medical Health Officer, says while the influenza vaccine has worked significantly better for young people than elderly this year, doesn’t mean the flu shot was not useful.
“If it’s an X3N2 strain or if you’re elderly, frail, or have immune suppression, the flu vaccine is less effective,” Dr. Shahab says.” But those are the risk groups who benefit the most from the flu vaccine because you’re more likely to get seriously ill if you are at high risk.”
Dr. Shahab says the 2017 flu season has been a strange one.
“A few unusual things have happened. Usually what we see is the common cold and other respiratory viruses go around in October and November, then there’s a bit of a lull, and then influenza picks up,” Shahab says. “Right now, this year we’ve had the usual cough and cold viruses go around, and then influenza has come, and also a bit of pertussis go around.”
Shahab says there has been 6 cases of influenza in long-term care facilities so far, 3 of them reported within the last week.