Saskatoon

Higher flu numbers due to early peak in season, says Sask. health ministry

The number of influenza cases in Saskatchewan for the 2018-19 season is more than twice as high as it was the previous year.

Number of flu cases in mid-December more than doubled from previous year

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says the flu season is nearing its peak. (Shutterstock)

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.

There were more than 1,500 confirmed cases between the start of September and mid-December in 2018 compared to about 680 for roughly the same period in 2017-18.

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."

Saskatchewan's influenza report for the week ending Dec. 22, 2018. (Ministry of Health/Government of Saskatchewan)

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now