“We have been seeing, over the last few years, an increase in vaccination rates in all age groups, especially in seniors,” Dr. Saqib Shahab said, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.
About two-thirds of seniors get vaccinated, he said, as well as 60 per cent of children aged six months to two years, and around 40 per cent of kids aged two to five.
READ MORE: Saskatchewan flu cases spike in mid-December
“The fact more parents are taking their children to get vaccinated, I think, is going to have a protective effect as well,” the doctor said.
Since September, there have been five deaths, involving three seniors and two adults.
There was 16 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and 30 outbreaks in long-term care facilities during that same time period.
Both type A and type B influenza strains have been confirmed this season.
“The bulk of influenza here is S3N2 (type A). That usually affects seniors and elderly more and that we can see by a large number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities,” Shahab said.
“With school having opened over the holidays, we still need to be aware that we have to keep children home if they are sick.”
Shahab said the flu season is expected to stick around for another to four to six weeks.