Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)

After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

There have been 30,000 tests for the influenza virus completed in B.C. up to the first week of January, with no cases of infection from community transmission, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports.

Last winter at this time there were 19 influenza outbreaks reported in B.C. long-term care facilities, where the seasonal respiratory virus can be fatal. This year there are no reported cases in care homes, many of which have dealt instead with COVID-19 infections. Tests for influenza have accompanied COVID-19 tests as health care staff strive to protect vulnerable elderly people.

In its latest influenza surveillance bulletin, the BCCDC says testing up to Jan. 9 has had seven positive results in 30,000 tests, showing 12 different strains of seasonal influenza. But each of the seven people had received the live attenuated influenza vaccine, “suggesting vaccine-type rather than wild-type virus.”

“Overall, there remains no indication of influenza virus circulation in B.C.,” the BCCDC report says. “Elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, influenza virus detection remains exceptionally low.”

The B.C. government secured an extra 450,000 influenza vaccine doses this fall as part of its preparations for COVID-19, bringing the total to two million doses. Influenza typically drives an increase in hospital admissions each fall and winter, peaking at about 15 per cent of hospital admissions by February.

Before Christmas, Health Minister Adrian Dix said demand for the influenza vaccine was exceptionally high, with a million doses delivered. In November, there were reports of clinics and pharmacies in B.C. running short as their available supplies were dispensed at no charge.

RELATED: B.C. starts ‘hospital at home’ program in Victoria

RELATED: More vaccine arrives as B.C. battles remote COVID-19


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

By formally adopting one or more of the new arrivals at Langley’s Critter Care wildlife refuge, donors will receive a tax receipt for their charitable donation, and an certificate which contains a photo of their orphan (Critter Care)
Adopt an animal orphan and help Langley’s Critter Care wildlife refuge

Fundraiser for registered charity offers a chance to sponsor individual animals

Churches, including Langley's Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

A GoFundMe campaign for Riley Stevens and his family has raised more than $5,700 since launching last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock mom of sick tot ‘totally blown away’ by donations, offers help

GoFundMe campaign to help family of Riley Stevens crests $5,700

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read