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

‘He has a home’, the tale of Ladysmith’s Turf Kitty

Chewy, also known as ‘Turf Kitty’, is a popular presence at Forrest Field

Downtown Ladysmith vehicle fire quickly extinguished

LFR Lieutenant Matt Rickett said that everyone involved responded exactly how they were supposed to

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students will be going back to school full time in the fall in ‘learning groups’

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to submit back-to-school plan to ministry in August

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

Most Read