New Strain of Flu Virus Hasn’t Yet Peaked

Officials at the London Health Sciences Centre say while flu season has yet to peak in London, the flu shot doesn’t entirely protect from a mutated strain of this season’s virus.

H3N2 is a subvirus of Influenza A and is surfacing across the country.

“The H3 strain that is most commonly circulating this winter has actually drifted from the one that’s in the vaccine, so it’s not a perfect match anymore. It still provides some protection against it, but it doesn’t provide as good protection,” says the LHSC’s Director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr. Michael John. “The strains we’ve identified so far have been H3s, we haven’t seen a lot of flu yet but the numbers are going up.”

John tells the hospitals are seeing between 5-8 cases of the flu reported each week. However, he says other respiratory illnesses are on the rise.

“There’s a virus called Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, which is a common cause of respiratory infections that’s found particularly in children and we’re seeing a lot of RSV around at the moment.”

If you go to the emergency room at any hospital in London with flu symptoms you will be asked to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus.

So far this season one person has died as a result of influenza, according to the Middlesex London Public Health Unit.