(File photo)

H1N1 strain of influenza hits hard in Greater Victoria

Island Health reports 197 lab-confirmed cases, some children in ICU

If you’ve got chills, find yourself coughing and sneezing or are just fresh out of energy, you’re not alone. Two nasty strains of influenza have hit Greater Victoria.

Island Health has lab-confirmed at least 197 cases of H1N1, a common strain of influenza.

Of those, 25 per cent were found in children, for whom the strain is particularly challenging, said Dr. Dee Hoyano, Island Health medical health officer. The situation is so bad some kids have landed in the ICU.

RELATED: Kids and teens vulnerable as Canadian flu cases start to surge

Also making the rounds is H3N2, a strain that has hit older adults especially hard.

While hospitalization numbers are similar to past years, what is notable is the average age of those affected, down from 80 years old to 60 years old.

In terms of prevention, good hygiene remains the key as well as staying home when you do fall ill, to avoid spreading the flu strains, which are contagious.

Hoyano also warns those with chronic health conditions to be aware serious complications can arise from contracting influenza and advises them to seek anti-viral treatments.

In Saskatchewan, three unvaccinated pre-school aged children have died from contracting the H1N1 virus.


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