Whew! Dodged the flu bullet again

A quiet winter for flu outbreaks in Greater Victoria

Except for a half dozen closures of acute care facilities, it was a quiet winter for flu outbreaks on Vancouver Island.

“This year compared to previous years was very mild,” said Dr. Paul Hassleback, Vancouver Island Health Authority chief medical health officer.

No schools were closed because of flu outbreaks, an indicator of a low incidence of outbreak, he added. The exact number of how many people got the flu was not available.

“We’ve been fortunate since (the 2009) H1N1 pandemic strain got in circulation – it did affect a lot of people and a lot got immunized,” he said.

The season’s three-part vaccine was similar to last year’s, immunizing against H1N1, H3N2, and B influenza. As in previous years, about 40 per cent of the population got flu shots.

Although there’s no indication a new strain of flu is brewing, Hasselback said viruses do adapt and “one of these years it will be much more severe.”