Flu season half over in Interior Health Authority; confirmed cases way up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Flu season half over in Interior Health Authority; confirmed cases way up

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With half the season left, close to twice the number of cases of influenza have been confirmed within the Interior Health Authority as at the same point last year.

Medical health officer Dr. Karin Goodison says 634 cases had been confirmed through lab testing up until Jan. 20, which is up from 380 to the same date in 2017.

Goodison cautioned the number is not truly representative of scope of the 2017-2018 flu season.

“Many choose to say home and manage symptoms themselves or are not tested for influenza via a throat swab,” she says.

During the three weeks preceding Jan. 25, during what she describes as the peak, Goodison says the health authority was seeing 100 to 140 confirmed cases a week.

Goodison would not say how many deaths have been caused by influenza within the health authority service area this season.

She also could not confirm how many deaths have been attributed to influenza in residential care homes within the health authority.

“There is a lack of capacity in our system to capture that information correctly and in a valuable way,” Goodison says.

Complicating the flu season this year. Goodison said is the early arrival of the type B virus which normally peaks several weeks after the type A virus.

The Interior Health Authority ordered 240,000 vaccinations for the flu season which continue to be available at most pharmacies.

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