New Brunswick’s acting chief medical officer of health is reminding residents to roll up their sleeves for their annual flu shots to reduce their risks of infection.
Dr. Yves Léger said influenza continues to circulate through the province, with 836 confirmed cases between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3 — which the government calls a new one-week record.
“We know the influenza vaccine is safe, and that it can help reduce the number of cases – and particularly the number of severe cases – of influenza we will see over the flu season,” said Léger.
Officials say 1,811 caught the flu this season. The province also says hospitals admitted 115 people for influenza in that week, bringing the total number to 350 this year.
Léger said most hospitalizations involve people 65 and over, but about 17 per cent included people younger than 19.
Léger added that flu shot numbers are down, with only 196,976 influenza vaccines administered as of Dec. 12. That’s compared to 219,475 over the same time last year.
“It is important for all New Brunswickers … to consider rolling up their sleeve for this protective shot,” he said, suggesting the public adopt public health measures to reduce our risks of infection.
It includes physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.
Léger said these measures act as a barrier of protection and reduce the strain that elevated levels of sickness can place on New Brunswick’s hospital system.