VICTORIA — Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says she's seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases in British Columbia but influenza illnesses appear to be increasing, in line with pre-pandemic patterns.
She says cases of H1N1 flu and respiratory syncytial virus are both rising, with youngsters testing positive for RSV in high numbers.
Henry is urging people to get both their COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots before Christmas to better protect themselves and loved ones during the holiday season.
She says that as of Sunday, more than 1.4 million influenza vaccines and almost 1.3 million updated COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C. this fall.
Henry says B.C. has received 2.3 million doses of influenza vaccine and more than 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
She says COVID-19 positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths have been decreasing since early October, with 182 people in hospital with the illness last week and 17 of them in critical care.
"It looks much like the typical seasons we used to have prior to the pandemic, with peaks particularly of influenza and RSV, and with influenza we tend to see peaks after the holiday period in late December, early January," Henry said at a news conference.
"Now is the time when we can take preventive measures to try and stop that peak."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2023.
The Canadian Press