Flu now spreading to seniors as hospitalization rates climb, doctors say

Flu now spreading to seniors as hospitalization rates climb, doctors say
(AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File)

TORONTO – Doctors say flu spread is starting to hit seniors as surveillance levels indicate their hospitalization rate is not far behind that of children.

Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada for the week ending Nov. 26 show that children under five still made up the highest number of hospitalized flu patients, but the rate at which people 65 years of age and older are hospitalized is also rising.

Hospitalizations among both young children and seniors have increased sharply over recent weeks during a flu season that started earlier than usual.

READ MORE: B.C. urges flu vaccinations for kids as province sees ‘dramatic increase’ in cases

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says he’s already seeing more seniors with flu as in-patients at Toronto General Hospital.

Bogoch says there’s a perfect storm of a monster influenza season without enough people getting the flu shot, while hospitals are overstretched.

Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, says in most years, children tend to get the flu first and then bring it home to parents and grandparents – and that hospitals in his province are on the cusp of seeing that impact.

By Nicole Ireland

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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