Winter is spectacular. Everyone is financially crippled from the Holiday Season, the sun sets at an ungodly early hour, skies are generally grey and without joy, and oh yeah – the flu!

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed in a press conference on Friday that not only is flu season dragging on longer than in years past, but it is likely that this will be the most infectious season since 2009’s swine flu scare.

The CDC’s Dr. Daniel Jernigan told reporters during the conference that they’re expecting this season’s numbers to be comparable to one of the deadliest years on record. 2014-15. That season saw roughly 710,000 people hospitalized in the United States, along with a reported 56,000 fatalities.

The strain giving people the most trouble is influenza A, subtype H3N2. This strain has a tendency to mutate faster than others, leading to lots of lovely permutations of the illness.

With weeks to go before flu season comes to an end, it’s a good time to get a flu shot, for those who have been slacking. Remember, it’s better to be safe than it is to risk a flu epidemic. As always, children and the elderly are especially susceptible. So if you are a parent, or if you are over the age of 60, be sure to visit your doctor if you haven’t already. Eastern Health is running clinics at these locations.

By: Thomas Penney