Severe flu outbreaks are being blamed for deaths in Alberta, but Medical Health Officers in our area say the situation here is not as bad.

Doctor Paul Martiquet, the MHO for the Sunshine Coast says,  it’s been a pretty typical flu season so far in terms of the number of cases.

Martiquet, and Doctor Paul Hasselback of Island Health say what they are seeing is that most cases are the H1N1 strain, and more people are going to hospital because of flu.  But they also both stress this year’s vaccine formula is effective against H1N1.

Hasselback says they also expect an increase in the spread of both flu and norovirus after schools re-open following the Christmas break and he’s urging parents to make sure they keep sick kids out of school until they’re fully recovered.

The Public Health Agency of Canada describes flu activity in this area right now as “sporadic”. Norovirus outbreaks have hit a number of south Island and Lower Mainland facilities.  VIHA says there is an outbreak at The Lodge on Fourth in Ladysmith, but no visitor restrictions.

There are no outbreaks on the Sunshine Coast.