Cases are testing positive for the H1N1 flu virus in the Northern Health region, says Jill Walker, Public Health Nursing Manager with Northern Health

Statistics are not available for the Robson Valley area specifically, but the BC Centre for Disease Control’s report for the last two weeks in December says that influenza activity has increased, and H1N1 continues to be the predominant circulating strain, representing over 80 per cent of the specimens available for testing.

The H1N1 strain is known to hit otherwise healthy people hard enough to require hospitalization, but is especially a concern to people with underlying health issues, says Walker. “Please come and get vaccinated,” she says, noting there are no shortages of the vaccine in BC. Vaccinations are still available at the McBride Health Unit (call 250-569-2251 ext. 2026 to book an appointment), the Valemount Health Unit (call 250-566-9138 ext. 4228) and the Golden Years Lodge (call 250-566-4837).

Good hand-washing technique is also critical in helping stop the spread of flu and many other diseases, reminds Walker.

Bulletins on influenza surveillance are available at the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.