Alberni care facilities hit with flu outbreak

Flu season has hit the Alberni Valley this year with a “made over” version of the flu virus that was expected this year.

Flu season has hit the Alberni Valley this year with a “made over” version of the flu virus that was expected this year. Echo Village, Fir Park and Rainbow Gardens have dealt with flu outbreaks already this  season.

“We’ve certainly seen a surge of influenza activity since the start of the Christmas break and that’s right across the island,” said Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Central Island through Island Health.

Most of the flu outbreaks have been in the south Island. “That includes not just the outbreaks in long-term care but admissions to hospitals,” he said, adding that “those are called the tip of the iceberg; we know that typically those are reflective of the amount of [flu] activity in the community.”

The flu strain seen both on the Island and across the majority of North America is the H3N2 strain.

“We’re talking a large domination by one strain and that’s fairly typical.”

Unfortunately, that strain isn’t exactly what the flu vaccine was designed for this year. “About six months ago we saw what we call a drift or a slight change in the influenza virus,” Hasselback said, adding that “in order for the virus to survive it needs to change itself.

“Some people  will recognize the made over virus and some won’t so we don’t expect the vaccine to be as effective.”

As the virus is now slightly different, the vaccine is less effective, although still recommended.

“Absolutely, there’ll be some protection provided to some people, some people will get less severe illness if they do come down with it. It’s the best protection that we can provide at this point.”

Just Posted

Alberni’s Anne Ostwald named a finalist for Premier’s Award

Alberni District Secondary School teacher encourages students to find their passion

Tofino and Ucluelet prepare for daytime Hwy. 4 closures and eight-hour power outage

“We know that there’s never a good time for an outage and thank the community for their patience.”

Port Alberni’s Healthy Harvest Farm closing

Operation will merge with Hupacasath Community Garden

Port Alberni Black Sheep hang on to win season opener

Sheep face James Bay Rugby Club in first game of the season

Port Alberni man arrested for breaking windows

29-year-old Port Alberni resident was caught breaking a window in a local residence

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Most Read