February 14, 2018 2:51 pm
Updated: February 14, 2018 3:19 pm

Montreal suffering through unusually bad flu season

WATCH ABOVE: Flu season is well underway and Montreal is one of a few metropolitan regions where the sickness is widespread. Global's Billy Shields reports.

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Quebec health officials are reporting there are more than double the number of influenza cases in the province so far this year than during the same period last year.

“This is a busy flu season,” said Dr. Harley Eisman, head of the MUHC’s pediatric emergency services. “We are overloaded.”

READ MORE: Scientists inch closer to universal flu vaccine as virus wreaks havoc on North America

In general, the two major strains of the flu, A and B, strike in consecutive waves. But doctors told Global News that this year those strains are hitting at exactly the same period.

“We pretty much have both peaking around the same time,” said Dr. Paul Saba, a Lachine physician.

READ MORE: 12-year-old girl identified as 1 of 2 children to die from flu in Guelph area

What’s more, according to federal health officials, in the past week Montreal has fit into one of only a few areas where influenza is considered “widespread” — the most prevalent of four categories where data is available.

READ MORE: Debunking common myths surrounding kids’ health

Federal health officials are currently listing Montreal as being in a “widespread” flu area.

Public Health Agency of Canada

Both Saba and Eisman strongly encouraged people to get flu shots. To prevent spreading the virus, Saba also suggested wearing facemasks and using hand sanitizer and to consider Tamiflu as a remedy if the illness is detected early enough.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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