In the interior, four deaths "directly attributed to the outbreak" of influenza at care facilities have been reported so far this flu season.
The "Aussie" flu (viral strain H3N2) is believed to have killed at least 300 back in Australia.
Tan adds that while the current vaccine and the circulating flu strains may not be a flawless match, there are still a lot of protective benefits. "Our population is frail and many of them will not make it through an influenza outbreak", said Kellie Gallegly, Executive Director at Village at Sydney Creek.
"Over the last two weeks we've had this real spike, we've doubled our numbers in the last week, so that's very typical", he said. "They go through this antigenic change every year, so March is when they decide what's going into the vaccine and we start seeing the cases in September and October".
The vaccine was created after the H3 virus hit the Southern Hemisphere earlier this year, according to Rusk, then shifted.
Whitney addressed the contention that the vaccine is only 10 percent effective.
"The thing about flu is that it's predictably unpredictable".
Flu can be serious for everyone, but the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with health problems are seen as particularly vulnerable to the virus. "And the strains can mutate along the way and some years the vaccine is more protective than other years", he said. The hospital will have signs posted to inform visitors of the limitations and to encourage anyone who suspects they may be sick to avoid visiting until they are feeling better.
In Manitoba, the vaccines are publicly funded and available at clinics and pharmacies across the province.
"You have to remember how this data is collected", he said.
People who haven't had a flu shot yet need to, Pacheco said.
Saunders said the best protection to control the spread of the virus is to wash your hands and get vaccinated.
Larry Roberts, spokesperson for Revera, the company that runs the Dorchester retirement residence in Kelowna, said their facilities are always on the lookout for flu symptoms and declare an outbreak once three or more people get sick. "We know that it does reduce the length of the illness as well as the symptoms", he said.
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