Health Unit reports back-to-back heavy flu seasons in London

The flu season is just about over in London and already data shows it was one of the heaviest on record.

According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s final flu report of the season, the region has experienced back-to-back heavy flu seasons with nearly 500 lab-confirmed cases in 2016-17 and 2015-16.

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Middlesex-London Health Unit: 2015-16 Flu Season Saw Uptick In Lab-Confirmed Cases, Hospitalizations, Deaths

“It was a relatively heavy season, one of the heaviest on record actually,” Tristan Squire-Smith, manager of infectious disease control, told AM980.

“We still may see a small amount of circulation in our community but by and large for reporting purposes, we have decided to cease the production of our weekly flu report for this season.”

Squire-Smith adds that this year the flu shot was actually a very strong match that offered significant protection and he’s urging people to get the vaccine next season.

“Anytime we have a heavy season where we do have a lot of institutional outbreaks like we did this year, or even just a lot of hospitalizations, we would tend to expect that people in the subsequent season would be more inclined to get the shot.”

During the 2016-17 season, the Middlesex-London Health Unit recorded 476 lab-confirmed cases, 44 of which were influenza B while the rest were influenza A. The Health Unit reports 39 influenza outbreaks at facilities in the region, 258 hospitalizations and 16 deaths.

The numbers compare to 489 lab-confirmed cases in 2015-16, 197 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths.

In 2014-15, there were 381 lab-confirmed cases, 161 hospitalizations, and 14 deaths.