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

Pets: How to avoid having a fat cat

Turning little tigers into indoor-only animals.

Gardening: Fall colour that lasts

Four broadleaf evergreens which provide a long-lasting display.

Voters see numerous issues in Pitt Meadows

Development, transportation, taxes and the race for mayor all cited

Untrending: Thinking in terms of legacy

New book, like new council, collaborative effort.

Along the Fraser: Cats are smarter than dogs

You can train dogs to complete simple tasks, but not how to figure things out logically.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. VIEWS: Businesses, residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

Most Read