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 Valley Minor Hockey hands out hardware

Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association wrapped up its 2018-19 season with an awards ceremony

Drag races headed back towards Alberni airport for 2019

Drag racing association receives approval, pending agreement with ACRD

Port Alberni author Gwynne Hunt releases new book

Unlocking the Tin Box is a true tale of family dysfunction

VALLEY SENIORS: Ernie and Margaret Bigelow enjoy 60 years of marriage

The couple met in Port Alberni when Ernie bought a “shack” next door to Margaret

Alberni darts player heading to national championships

Jason Bagnell is fundraising for his trip to Nova Scotia

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read