Flu Season Still Hanging On
March 30, 2015 2:00am
It is the second week of spring, but officials at the London Middlesex Health Unit say flu season is still hanging on.
There have been over 330 lab confirmed cases of influenza in the London area since September of 2014. Of those cases, 13 people have died.
The shot administered by doctors and pharmacists this season protects against three strains of influenza, but not the H3N2 strain that has been circulating in the region. A U.S. study released in January says this version of the shot is only 23% effective.
However, MLHU officials are hopeful next season’s shot does a better job at protecting.
“The strains that circulate in the southern hemisphere tend to be what we see in the northern hemisphere in our winter, which follows theirs,” says Manager of Infectious Disease at the Middlesex London Health Unit Tristan Squire-Smith. “The strains that are circulating now and in the coming summer months will typically be what we will see next winter, and those are used to determine what goes into the vaccine.”
The latest report from the MLHU shows another three outbreaks, which are usually at long-term-care homes, in the span of the week.
There have been a total of 40 outbreaks at London Middlesex facilities since September 1.