Fraser Health is urging the public to get the flu vaccine after multiple influenza outbreaks in residential care facilities over the past week. Pixabay image

Flu outbreaks hit Fraser Health residential care facilities

Health officials urging public to get vaccine

A rash of influenza outbreaks in Lower Mainland residential care facilities has prompted health officials to remind people to get the flu shot.

Since December 28, Fraser Health has seen five confirmed and five suspected influenza outbreaks in residential care facilities across the region, which extends from White Rock to Hope.

Of the outbreaks, two occurred in each of New Westminster, Langley and South Delta. Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and Cloverdale each had a single care facility experience a suspected or confirmed outbreak.

“In the last week, we have noticed a significant increase in influenza outbreaks across our region,” medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie said in a press release Thursday. “While seasonal increases in flu activity are expected, we remind people that if they have a non-emergency health concern they have many options in the community to help them avoid a trip to the emergency department to ensure emergency services are available for those who need them.”

The symptoms of an influenza infection are fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and cough. Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the elderly and those with heart, lung or other health conditions. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they develop symptoms.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months of age and older and are available free of cost in B.C. for all children between six months and five years old, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu and visitors to health care facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine. Flu shots are now available at doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics and pharmacies.

Find a flu clinic near you here.

Just Posted

Ministry ‘fumbled the ball’ on Station House: Hope mayor

Hope cannot take ownership of project as highway ministry did not consult with First Nations

Fraser Health patients to see 23% more knee, hip replacement surgeries

First-available surgeon approach will reduce waitlists, B.C. health minister says

Council to vote on 2018 budget and five-year financial plan Monday

Budget increases two per cent with paving, Othello road upgrades, finishing wastewater plant planned

In search of treasured metals

John Fair runs a modern day panning school in Hope and Yale

Hope shines at 16-team girls’ tournament

Teams from Kootenays, Vanderhoofe , Pender Harbour in town over weekend

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Better standards are in place in British Columbia, meaning less fish have escaped, reports show

B.C. to give municipalities final say over rental zoning

City halls will be required to provide housing needs assessment

B.C. firm linked to Facebook data scandal defends its political work

AggregateIQ says it helps customers craft messages for online political ads, use data for campaigns

Toronto van attack accused was briefly in Canadian Armed Forces

Alek Minassian was a member of the forces from Aug. 23, 2017 until Oct. 25

Hospital hero wins international honour for disarming knife wielding man

Charles Kraeling is the first Island Health employee to receive an International Award of Valour

Parents call for change to health laws after Victoria teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

B.C. guitarist aims to play for 116 hours, break Guinness record for charity

Local musician will aim to break Guinness record at River Rock Casino Resort, starting May 7

Most Read