According to data published last week, Canadian health officials report 2,161 flu-related hospitalization during the 2014-2015 seasonal influenza season. In Canada, the flu season runs from week 35 (August 2014) to week 34 (August 2015).

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reports 125 flu-related deaths so far this season.

Health authorities note that the number of hospitalizations and deaths reported represent a subset of all influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths in Canada as not all Provinces and Territories participate in reporting.

During the first week of 2015, 22 regions reported widespread influenza activity: in BC(3), AB(5), SK, MB(2), ON(5), QC(3), NF(3). The same five regions in Alberta have reported widespread activity for the past 3 weeks.

Related: Canada issues six travel advisories as Canadians go on holiday

To date, the NML has found that the majority of A(H3N2) influenza specimens are not optimally matched to the vaccine strain. This may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness against the A(H3N2) virus. However, the vaccine can still provide some protection against A(H3N2) influenza illness and can offer protection against other influenza strains such as A(H1N1) and B.

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