Most cases occurred in people under age 65.
Last flu season in Riverside County, the deaths of 23 people aged 64 or younger were linked with the flu, according to the release. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine". The new policy will take effect this week as the 2018-2019 flu season continues to peak.
The flu season started earlier this year and Saskatchewan's chief medical officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said it has peaked. (Lab-confirmed cases represent a small percentage of all flu cases, often just the ones that require hospitalization).
During the last week of December, Marion County emergency room visits related to influenza-like illness was at 2.70% - this is considered high. There have been three flu-related deaths this season, the victims were 63, 75 and 91 years old.
"At the end of 2018, flu activity was high in New York City and 19 states, including most of the American southwest and New Jersey". H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain. "So, I tell patients it's never too late to get your flu shot".
Flu vaccine critics, including naturopathy practitioners, argue that mercury, detergents and other additives sometimes packed into the shots can do more harm than good.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu virus, so the earlier the shot is administered, the better.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. It also misstated the percentage of children that make up B.C.'s population.