Perfect storm of flu viruses spreads throughout Nanaimo

A slow start to flu season has led to the simultaneous spread of several strains of influenza in the community.

Typical flu season infection rates have various ups and downs with strains peaking at different times, but this season took off at a snail’s pace, which means that several viruses are making people sick all at once, according to the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The perfect storm of influenza strains should not be too much of a concern yet, explained medical health officer Dr. Murray Fyfe.

Despite the mix of strains, confirmed influenza numbers, along with reports of flu symptoms, are not higher than typical levels for this time of year, he explained.

Influenza A usually takes hold in December and spikes in late January or early February. Influenza A is the umbrella category for H1N1 and H3N2 strains. By March, influenza B numbers usually spike.

Because the first round of infections were so slow to arrive, people are sick from various types of the flu.

“We’re getting hit from all sides right now,” Fyfe said. “It’s very unusual to see them all coming in at the same time like this.”


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