Flu season showed up on Prince Edward Island a little earlier than normal this year.
The earlier onset of the sniffles and sneezes brings with it an increased number of confirmed influenza cases — but little cause for concern, reports Dr. Heather Morrison, chief public health officer.
Luckily vaccine manufacturers seem to have predicted the correct strain of influenza that appeared this season, said Morrison.
“We’ve mainly seen influenza A circulating, and it’s a strain that is covered in our influenza vaccine,” she said.
This year would appear to be an average year in terms of flu, she added.
“Some years seem to change in terms of how many cases we’re seeing, etc. Some of that has to do with the strains of influenza circulating. But there is basically the same strains circulating this year as there were last year,” she said.
According to the Island’s Chief Public Health Office, there has been 24 lab confirmed cases of influenza virus in the province to date.
Of course many more people have likely had the virus. However, lab confirmed cases help officials track and monitor the type and severity of the flu virus.
Cases have been reported in all parts of the Island.
And even though the flu season is well upon us, it’s not too late to get a vaccine, added Morrison.
“You can still get your flu shot. But it takes two weeks after you get your flu shot to be fully protected and to have the immunity against influenza,” she said.
She also reminded everyone that they should take basic health precautions, such as sneezing into sleeves and washing hands frequently.