Flu season peaked earlier then expected this year, with many being sick over the holidays.

The cumulative total for influenza this season was 1,571 lab-confirmed cases.

The reason for the large volume of cases at this point in the season is that influenza activity started earlier than other years. Influenza seasons can start at different times in different years. The early start to this year's influenza season was not unusual.

At a provincial level, as of December 15, 2018, more than 280,000 doses of influenza vaccine had been administered, which is 8% higher than last year at this time.

The Ministry of Health undertakes a public awareness campaign promoting annual flu immunizations and where to receive them each and every fall. The ministry of health continues to encourage people to get their flu shot particularly those at higher risk this season, including children and the elderly. Clinic location details are available at www.4flu.ca or residents can visit their local pharmacy.

Depending on the point in time that influenza activity begins to increase, the number of lab tests will begin to accumulate. Influenza activity may start to increase at any time in the fall and generally peaks after 6 to 8 weeks. The peak has now been achieved and the total number of cases, 1,571 as of December 22, isn't expected to increase a great deal more from now on.

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