Interior Health warns to be vigilant against the flu

Medical health officer from IHA talks about the latest influenza strain and how to avoid it.

‘I opened up the window and in-flu-enza.’ It’s an old joke but it also illustrates the fact that residents need to be cautious at this time of year with several cases of the flu being reported in the region.

“Throughout the province there are positive tests for influenza virus including your region,” said Peter Barss, medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority.

“We have lots of outbreaks going on at the moment in the region. There’s cases at care facilities for the elderly, schools and, of course, individual cases like families.”

Barss says most of the recent cases are of influenza strain AH3N2.

“It seems the vaccine includes that strain,” he said. “Each year scientists who prepare the vaccine have to estimate what type of virus there will be. Sometimes it can change unexpectedly but as far as we know, the vaccine is proving to have the right type of dead viruses in it to protect people.

We still recommend that people do get immunized. We do see a big peak in late December/January. Since the vaccine is working well, it’s certainly recommended if anyone is concerned.”

Barss recommends contacting your local public health unit (Castlegar Health Centre).

“You can be immunized there,” he said. “The public health nurses are very expert at this. You just need to make an appointment.”

Interior Health also suggests avoiding crowds is the best way to minimize exposure to any potential viruses.

“The virus spreads by coughing,” he said. “When people cough, they get a big blast of sort of aerosol of moisture droplets with viruses. So, people should be thoughtful of others and stay home when they’re sick if possible. Viruses also spread from direct contact from the nose, the hands and so on. So it’s a good idea to wash your hands often, especially after touching objects others might’ve touched or even shaking hands.”


Just Posted

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries School’s got talent

Talent show to be held Feb. 21 at Brilliant Cultural Centre

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Selkirk College Saints score pair of crucial wins

Stellar goaltending and timely goals lead to victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Skier injured in avalanche; snowmobiler stranded near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue performs two backcountry rescues in 24 hours

Most Read