According to the BC Center For Disease Control, influenza activity in BC began to spike as we entered the holiday period during the final weeks of 2012 (weeks 51-52: December 16 to 29, 2012). Across the province, the proportion of medical visits with an influenza diagnosis increased to above the 75th percentile compared to the same period during the prior ten years. Consultations for influenza-like illness at BC Children’s Hospital emergency room also increased sharply compared to prior weeks, higher also than recent seasons. There has also been sharp increase in the proportion of respiratory specimens diagnosed as influenza at both the BC Public Health Microbiology & Reference, and the BC Children’s and Women’s Health Centre Laboratories. Other respiratory viruses were also detected but influenza predominated overall. There were seven laboratory-confirmed influenza A outbreaks in long-term care facilities during this two-week period which represents nearly half of the total tally to date for the season.
Report disseminated January 3, 2013
Contributors: Helen Guiyun Li, Lisan Kwindt, Naveed Janjua, Danuta Skowronski