Pharmacist Lee Boyer drew his 700th dose of the flu vaccine this season on Wednesday.

Pharmacist Lee Boyer drew his 700th dose of the flu vaccine this season on Wednesday.

Flu bug bites into Greater Trail

The Kootenay Boundary region has been hit with a surge in the number of flu cases, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The Kootenay Boundary region has been hit with a surge in the number of flu cases, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Although, according to Doctor Trevor Corneil, Medical Health Officer for Interior Health, it is too early to say what the final statistic will look like.

“The flu has hit earlier than last year, so the number of cases seem to be high right now,” said Corneil.

“But it actually meets the average over a period of the last 10 years.”

The most common strain of flu that is affecting the Kootenays is H3N2 type A influenza virus.

Winters when H3N2 viruses predominate are generally harder flu seasons because this subtype hits the elderly with particular severity.

“Severe symptoms from this strain are seen in the elderly and immune-compromised,” said Corneil.

However, he does concede that most healthy people, who are exposed, won’t become as sick, if they show any symptoms at all.

“Most people who are getting the flu are not getting the severe version of it,” he said,

Corneil advises that it you are sick, to stay at home and avoid exposing others to the illness.

“Lots of fluids and rest,” he added.

However, Corneil said that if a person is experiencing a high fever, consult a physician to make sure that something else isn’t going on.

The best way to reduce severity symptoms is to receive an annual flu shot.

In any given year, there are at least 10 to 15 differents strains that come by, but the three that are the most virulent, are in the flu shot, said Corneil.

“People who get their shot are protected against the three strains that cause the most severe symptoms,” said Corneil. “And they won’t get as sick when exposed to the other strains.”