Some have described this upcoming winter season as a respiratory virus party. 

Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for Southwest Networks 4, 5 and 6 says that the influenza virus has come up fast, furious and aggressively.

Dr. Torr describes that what was observed first and foremost was that when we were going through Summer here and the Southern Hemisphere was going through Winter, they had a pretty intense influenza season, and it is now likely that we can expect much of the same. 

There are many ways to help protect oneself including avoiding crowds, avoid touching surfaces and perhaps one of the most effective solutions, getting the flu vaccine. 

Flu vaccines are available through public health, pharmacies and many physicians' clinics. All residents 6 months and up are eligible for vaccinations, but 6 months to 5 years must be done by public health. Older than five years, pharmacists can also administer. 

Dr. Torr provides details on where residents can find more information. 

"Of course, there is the website or people can call 1-833-727-5829. So, there are a number of ways you can find out about these clinics."


In addition, Dr. Torr again reminds everyone that influenza is more serious and aggressive then the common cold. 

"The last couple of years have been all about COVID. Maybe we didn't see as many respiratory viruses or even influenza. We were under strict conditions with masking and all those other conditions that were in place. But this year certainly influenza is very prominent. We also have a good number of other respiratory viruses that are circulating."

According to Dr. Torr, people feel sometimes that they took the vaccine and yet they still got the flu. He reminds residents that the vaccine doesn't stop someone from getting the virus. Instead, it helps protect the person to the extent that if they did get influenza, the symptoms would be milder and with less complications. 

Individuals with existing medical conditions and young children are especially encouraged to protect themselves by getting the flu vaccine.