April 25, 2018 3:27 pm

Nearly 100 flu-related deaths this year in N.S., N.B.: health officials  

FILE - A nurse administers a flu vaccine shot.

(AP File Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Health officials say there have been dozens of deaths this year in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as a result of influenza.

According to Nova Scotia Public Health, 55 people have died because of influenza this flu season, and there have been 768 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus.

READ MORE: 13 deaths connected to influenza reported in N.B.

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New Brunswick has seen 32 flu-related deaths and 594 reported influenza-related hospitalizations, according to Public Health.

New Brunswick has been hit with a spike of 2,367 reported cases of influenza this flu season. The province’s chief medical officer of health says influenza activity has been stable, but higher than expected over the last four weeks.

“The higher number of cases reported and hospitalized so far in the current season is due to the double burden from the co-circulation of both influenza A and B, in a way that was never reported before in previous seasons,” Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a statement.

WATCH: More than a dozen deaths from the flu in New Brunswick this year: Health officials

Dr. Russell says there has been a greater detection of influenza A.

“It is very important to note that this season cannot be compared to previous seasons because of the early start of the current season. The current flu season started at least five or six weeks earlier than usual,” Dr. Russell said.

READ MORE: Flu numbers on the decline in London, Ontario

In both provinces, the majority of influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths have been among adults 65 years old and older.

Despite the increase in the Maritimes, Public Health says influenza activity in Canada in on the decline. They say the best way to protect yourself from the flu is through proper hand washing and immunization.

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

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