Fraser Health is urging the public to get the flu vaccine after multiple influenza outbreaks in residential care facilities over the past week. Pixabay image

Flu outbreaks hit Fraser Health residential care facilities

Health officials urging public to get vaccine

A rash of influenza outbreaks in Lower Mainland residential care facilities has prompted health officials to remind people to get the flu shot.

Since December 28, Fraser Health has seen five confirmed and five suspected influenza outbreaks in residential care facilities across the region, which extends from White Rock to Hope.

Of the outbreaks, two occurred in each of New Westminster, Langley and South Delta. Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and Cloverdale each had a single care facility experience a suspected or confirmed outbreak.

“In the last week, we have noticed a significant increase in influenza outbreaks across our region,” medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie said in a press release Thursday. “While seasonal increases in flu activity are expected, we remind people that if they have a non-emergency health concern they have many options in the community to help them avoid a trip to the emergency department to ensure emergency services are available for those who need them.”

The symptoms of an influenza infection are fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and cough. Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the elderly and those with heart, lung or other health conditions. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they develop symptoms.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months of age and older and are available free of cost in B.C. for all children between six months and five years old, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu and visitors to health care facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine. Flu shots are now available at doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics and pharmacies.

Find a flu clinic near you here.

Just Posted

School district employee Anna Remenik runs for Township mayor

Anna Remenik spoke at a controversial Brookswood development plan in 2014 under the name Anna R.

Langley City mayoral candidate sued City over 2016 byelection results

Serena Oh plans to accept this year’s election results and said she has many voters lined up.

Distracted drivers targeted in Langley

A province-wide campaign took place to issue distracted drivers $368 tickets.

Clayton’s Salish Secondary seeing community spirit in first weeks

The new high school welcomed its first set of students on Sept. 4

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto play agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

Vancouver Whitecaps release head coach Carl Robinson

Assistant coach Martyn Pert and goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr are also out

Sketch released of man wanted for attack on taxi driver in Surrey

Assault happened on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 8

B.C. making progress on senior care staffing, Adrian Dix says

Minister aims to meet residential care provincial standard by 2021

More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

Call boxes and increased patrols are also among the $1M in the city’s security measures

Most Read