Flu hospitalizations are down since last year (Black Press Media file photo).

Flu hospitalizations see significant drop across Vancouver Island

Less than a third of the number of people have been hospitalized due to influenza since last year

While it may seem that every person in town is coughing up a storm, the number of Islanders hospitalized from the flu is actually down significantly over last year.

According to Island Health, a total of 52 patients have been diagnosed with influenza and admitted to an Island Health acute care facility between Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec. 30, 2019.

In the same time period in 2018 there were 176 influenza-based hospitalizations.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

This year Island Health saw a slight uptick in the number of flu vaccines distributed to local providers, with a total of 237,635 seen throughout the communities for the 2019/2020 flu season. Of these, 152,402 were sent to pharmacies, an increase of 4,400 since last year.

The increase in flu vaccines may not be the reason behind the drop, however, said Island Health medical health officer Dr. Dee Hoyano.

ALSO READ: Island Health urges everyone to get flu shot despite vaccine delay

“Some years we have high numbers of cases and some years low. The timing of activity and the number and kind of strains circulating is also unpredictable,” Hoyano said in an emailed statement. “So far this year in this part of B.C., we have had relatively less activity for influenza, but we are far from the end of the influenza season which typically extends into March/April.”

Hoyano added that at this point it’s too early to ease off preventative measures, and that a peak in hospitalization may still be around the corner.

“Keep up the handwashing, cough etiquette and staying home when ill,” she advised.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

flu seasonIsland Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kevin Timothy to plead guilty to animal cruelty charge

He will appear at the Duncan courthouse on March 24

Minister and Halalt First Nation chief consult on effects of recent flooding

Community heavily impacted with many damaged and uninhabitable homes

Drivesmart column: Regulatory vs advisory road signs

The regulatory sign must be obeyed exactly as it is read.

Alistair MacGregor column: Responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic

This crisis has shown us just how many Canadians struggle every day to pay the bills

Second vehicle from Crofton Geo-Tech theft recovered

Supervisor at Crofton operation finds it parked at Chemainus campground

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Most Read