In the past few years, she said, Ontario has tended to flip between two strains of flu — H1N1 and H3N2.
Last year H3N2 dominated in Canada, which suggests it might not this year — which could be good news.
Australia’s bad flu season has been dominated by the H3N2 strain. It has also seen both A and B strains of the flu at the same time.
Early surveillance from the Public Health Agency of Canada points to H3N2 as the dominant strain so far and, even in late September during what is considered an “interseasonal” period, shows higher numbers than usual.
Public health officials are not the only ones watching the upcoming flu season with concern. Even a standard viral season puts extra strain on hospitals.
In addition to standard vaccines, which protect against two strains of A influenza and one strain of B, there is a quadrivalent vaccine, that protects against two A strains and two B strains, available for children between six months and 17.