It's good news for people who have received a flu shot this year. Dr. Michael Routledge, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Southern Health, says it looks like the experts got it right this year.
2016 03 flu shot"So far, what we're hearing is that the vaccine is a pretty good match."
He adds the flu strain that is in play this year is harsh but is not as severe as some others.
"What we predominantly are seeing this year is what we call an H1N1 influenza season. From the health care system perspective, that tends to be a little less busy as opposed to H3N2 season that we had last year, which tends to affect the elderly where we tend to have more hospitalizations and more outbreaks in personal care homes. We've certainly had some of those this year but it hasn't been too bad so far this year compared to other years."
Dr. Routledge says people who are hospitalized with confirmed influenza are usually placed into quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading to other patients. He adds they have also had a couple of reports of significant absenteeism in some schools due to outbreaks of viruses and says the H1N1 strain tends to have more of an impact on children.
"We've had a couple of reports. I don't have confirmed diagnoses related to any school outbreaks. But, certainly, between influenza and other viruses, it's not uncommon to have absenteeism in fair numbers at school. I don't think I've heard any reports that have been out of the ordinary."