By TYLER MEDEIROS
The flu season is here so grab your tissues and lozenges because it is going to be a rough one this year.
On Dec. 22 nurses came to the Doon campus recreation centre to administer the flu shot to any student, faculty and staff who wanted it. Most of the students who received the shot were people who were not born in Canada or who travel to other countries throughout the season, according to the nurses. Doctors and specialists are saying this year might be a nasty one for the flu because of what is happening in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. Their winter is our summer so they see the trends and patterns first, which is then used to predict what is coming our way.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a tropical infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital and the University of Toronto, told Global News in an interview, “The key thing with influenza is that it’s predictably unpredictable but a few arrows are pointing in the direction that this may be a bit more on the rough side for influenza seasons.”
According to Bogoch there were more documented influenza cases in Australia this year than the previous two years as well as more people hospitalized and more deaths related to influenza.
There are three strains of influenza based on H1N1 – A, B and C. According to Global News there are three major strains to worry about based on H1N1 called A/Michigan/45/2015, H3N2 known as A/Singapore/INFIHM-16-0019/2016, and a B strain, B/Phuket/3073/2013. The bad news is the current vaccine this year is not an exact match for the H3n2 and the B strains.
Doctors are still recommending people get the shots because many researchers say there will be an overlap between the circulation strains and the vaccine.
Anthony Bastos, a third-year Conestoga programing student, said, “It’s better to be safe than sorry. I would prefer getting the shot than doing nothing and getting sick anyways. Even if this will not protect me 100 per cent it’s still better than not having any protection at all. The last thing I need is to be sick and start my new semester being miserable after the break.”