Less than 25 per cent of Saskatchewan residents have had the flu shot this winter – and it’s almost peak time for cases.
“We have seen an increase in influenza cases in the last couple of weeks, and we expect flu activity will continue through March,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer
“I encourage everyone to get a flu shot if they haven’t already. This season’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains, including H3N2.”
There has been one flu-related death in the province this flu season.
In the first week of January alone, there were 88 lab-confirmed cases of influenza – bringing the total number since September to 590.
This year’s influenza strain is particularly hard on the elderly. There have been 20 outbreaks in long-term care facilities this season.
Shahab is urging people to take steps to prevent the virus and stay home when sick.
The free flu vaccine is available from public health offices, many pharmacies and some physician offices.
Pharmacists can only immunize adults and children nine years of age and older who have a valid Saskatchewan health card.
Children under the age of nine need to be vaccinated at a public health clinic or physician office.