Higher flu numbers due to early peak in season, says Sask. health ministry
Number of flu cases in mid-December more than doubled from previous year
The number of influenza cases in Saskatchewan for the 2018-19 season so far is more than twice as high as it was the previous year.
The Population Health branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said the higher number is due to an early start to the flu season.
It said it is not unusual for the season to start at different times in different years.
"Influenza activity may start to increase at any time in the fall and generally peaks after six to eight weeks," said the ministry in an emailed response to questions.
"The peak has now been achieved and we do not expect the cumulative number of cases (1,571 as of December 22) to increase a great deal more from now on."
In the 2016-17 flu season, there were 380 cases before Dec. 31. There were just 31 cases in the 2015-16 period, ending mid-January.
The ministry said more than 280,000 doses of influenza vaccines were administered by Dec. 15, 2018 — eight per cent higher than the previous year.
It said a public awareness campaign promoting influenza immunizations is launched every fall.