Will the flu make a comeback this season?
The flu was almost a non issue a year ago, but one infectious disease doctor believes it may have been an anomaly.
“People were wearing masks, people were staying home, probably the best hand hygiene we’ve ever seen in Canada ever,” says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist.
During the 2020-2021 flu season, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported 79 lab confirmed cases of influenza, compared to 54,000 the previous year.
“The flu is a very serious viral infection. It kills about 3,500 Canadians in a typical year.”
Bogoch believes flu cases will rise from a year ago.
“We are going back to work though, kids are back in school. There are more options for viruses to be transmitted but there are public health measures in place as well.”
Bogoch tells CTV News the best way to defend yourself against influenza is by getting the flu shot.
“Flu shots are good, of course they’re not perfect. It’s a very significant layer of protection that reduces the risk of getting influenza.”
The flu shot is typically available by mid October and residents should still get it even if they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“People have receive other vaccinations this year in addition to their COVID-19 vaccine all sorts of vaccines,” says Bogoch.
According to one local pharmacist, symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar and residents should speak to a health provider.
“You’re gonna wanna look for fever, cough would be the biggest ones and just feeling under the weather,” says Sebastiano Di Pietro.
“One of the biggest myths about the flu vaccine that if I’m young and healthy, I don’t need to get it. It’s important for everyone to get the vaccine."
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