Flu season takes its toll

The Yukon is still being hit hard by this year’s flu season.

The Yukon is still being hit hard by this year’s flu season.

As of Thursday, there had been 134 confirmed cases of the flu in the territory this season. The actual number of cases this year is likely much higher, as many people simply stay home when they become sick.

There have also been 16 flu-related hospitalizations this season, up from an average of seven hospitalizations in an entire year.

Today was the last flu clinic scheduled at the Whitehorse Health Centre, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. But drop-in hours will continue Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and on Friday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for as long as the vaccine is available.

According to the health department, this year’s flu vaccine is a good match for the strain that’s making most people sick.

Health officials say the vaccine will reduce the risk of hospitalization due to the flu, and people who are vaccinated help protect others who are more vulnerable, including infants, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions.

They recommend that people who catch the flu stay home unless they become very sick or are worried about their illness. Members of vulnerable groups should seek medical attention immediately.

The vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu virus, but hand-washing and coughing into tissues can also help.

The flu shot is safe and free for all Yukoners.

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