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

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

Just Posted

Decor details: Professional rental and design businesses deliver it all

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

North Island Bantam Eagles ice Clippers, clinch Tier 2 league banner

“We will enjoy the moment for now, but… it’s back to work on Tuesday”

Upgrades to Port Hardy arena hinge on grant funding

The district is waiting on grant approval from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program.

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: North Island beauty

“don’t forget to look up and observe the beauty of the whole North Island”

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Most Read