Extra measures encouraged

With signs from the east showing an increased influenza outbreak, the BC Centre for Disease Control is encouraging people to take additional measures to protect themselves.

  • Feb. 16, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Above is a Northern Health chart showing historical numbers of influenza throughout their coverage area. Currently the numbers are below historical data.

With signs from the east showing an increased influenza outbreak, the BC Centre for Disease Control is encouraging people to take additional measures to protect themselves.

In their most recent report of influenza across B.C., ranging from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, the BCCDC reported on a low level mix of influenza viruses, lower, in fact, than historical numbers typically recorded for this time of year.

“Influenza activity has been fairly mild in B.C. so far this year, but the winter is long and the risk is not over yet,” Dr. Danuta Showranski, a physician epidemiologist with BCCDC, said. “It would be wise to … prepare for that now.”

The flu season typically runs from November to April, with the peak occurring sometime within that, the BCCDC reports.

Flu shots are still available through public health units, they say. These shots may aid those with influenza in recovering more quickly and are most effective if taken within the first 48 hours of contracting the disease.

Northern Health has also been dealing with a higher number of norovirus outbreaks in their facilities this year, Northern Health reports. The Bulkley Valley Lodge, which was closed for a period of time due to the norovirus, is still reporting instances within their facilities, as is Dawson Creek, the Northern Health Board Report released on Monday reveals. In all of Northern Health no deaths have been attributed to the Norovirus outbreak.

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