Windsor

At least 8 people have died from the flu in Windsor this year

The Windsor-Essex Public Health Unit said that at least eight people have died from the flu this year, and that number may be higher.

Both campuses of Windsor Regional Hospital have an influx of influenza patients

Both campuses of Windsor Regional hospital have seen a surge of patients suffering from the flu. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

The Windsor health unit said that at least eight people have died from the flu this year, and that number may be higher. 

"We anticipate that the number of deaths is a great underestimation compared to what would have been reported in previous seasons," said Ramsey D'Souza, manager of epidemiology and evaluation at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Starting in 2014-2015, the health unit was no longer required to follow up on flu case outcomes without a coroner's inquest, which doesn't always get to them said D'Souza. 

"It can be a great underestimation, it's not a true number." 

On Jan. 2, officials at the Ouellette Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital said two flu cases had been confirmed at the hospital and another two cases were deemed probable, prompting the declaration of a respiratory outbreak.

Flu season has peaked in Windsor-Essex and it's pushing regionally health care services to their limits. 0:56

Over the last two weeks, 19 surgeries have been postponed at Windsor Regional Hospital because of overcrowding caused by an influx of flu patients.

As of Friday morning, the Met campus was operating at 104 per cent capacity. Four patients had been admitted but did not have beds in the emergency department. 

The Ouellette campus also had four patients admitted, waiting to be placed. That facility was operating at 95 per cent capacity.