Rise of flu cases in Ontario reported

by | Oct 17, 2014 | News

Nick Beare
News Reporter

It’s a time when many Humber College students roll up their sleeves for their annual flu shots.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Flu Watch report for Sept. 21 to Oct. 4 stated that rising flu activity was reported in six different regions of the country including Ontario. The agency measures this activity by monitoring hospitalizations, activity levels, influenza detections and ILI (influenza-like illness).

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control said in a recent surveillance bulletin that during this same time period, positive readings on influenza tests increased from 2 per cent to 14 per cent at the B.C. provincial laboratory.

Influenza A (H3N2) has  been circulating in this country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

For students at Humber, there are many different ways to prevent the spread of the flu, such as frequent washing of  hands. This, says Catherine McKee, Registered Nurse Co-ordinator for Humber’s North and Lakeshore campuses, is the most important thing to do to prevent spreading.

“The flu is spread by breathing, coughing and sneezing,” McKee said in an e-mail to Humber Et Cetera. “The best advice is to get the flu shot, get lots of rest, stay home if you are sick and follow good respiratory etiquette, such as (sneezing into your sleeve.)”

This season, Humber is giving out free flu shots to students from Oct. 28 to 31 and is preparing for flu season in a variety of ways.

“We have nursing students give peer to peer education on flu and sneeze in sleeve and hand washing,” McKee said. Despite the warnings from health officials and signs around campus, some students like Manjit Sandhu, a second-year electro-mechanical engineering student, prefer to do without the vaccine.

“I’m not worried,” Sandhu said. “I eat right and dress for appropriate weather.”

However, some students like second-year paralegal student Chris Anderson makes sure to get the shot annually. Ni

“[I got the flu] maybe two or three years ago. I didn’t get (a flu shot) that year because I was studying for school,” Anderson said, “I learned my lesson.”