Still time to get flu shots: Sherlock

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 80,000 people died nationally, including 180 children, during last year's flu season.

"We also have good evidence that having a flu shot greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization or death even for those who do get the flu anyway", he added.

Nearly half the cases in Ontario are the H1N1 strain which affects children, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada report.

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It has been a deadly flu season across Canada and Saskatchewan this year.

While H1N1-predominant seasons tend to be milder overall at the population level compared to those characterized primarily by H3N2, individuals who get hit with either strain won't detect much of a difference - both bring on fever, cough, general malaise and achy muscles and joints, she said from Vancouver.

There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1. According to national figures, almost half of all flu-related hospitalizations across Canada early in the season were among children and youth. The flu has resulted in up to five deaths of children across the country.

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From Dec. 23 to 29, 2019, the province reported 64 new influenza cases, including one death and one ICU admission. While the CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against the flu by the end of October, getting a flu shot later can still be beneficial. Vaccines protect against multiple flu strains.

Dr Kelleher said that while most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who was concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out-of-hours medical service so they could arrange to be treated in a way that did not put others at risk.

That also goes for healthy adults who are in close contact with people in those groups or with babies under six months of age who are too young to be inoculated against influenza, she said. A previous version misstated the age of children affected by the flu in a quote from Dr. Danuta Skowronski.

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