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Ottawa, Jan 16 (Canadian-Media): Canada's medical community is puzzled with the unusual toll on the body of both flu strains -- Influenza A mainly affecting older people, while influenza B targets children and youth -- typically at the same time during the flu season with nearly 12,500 confirmed cases of flu across Canada and 10 deaths, media reports said.
Estimated 3,000 Canadians, often young children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, succumb to death every year.
"The flu can complicate pre-existing heart disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, quite often it causes pneumonia and that's sort of its route of causation. It's what makes people really sick," said Dr. Mark Loeb, division director for infectious diseases at McMaster University in Hamilton.
"If somebody is really short of breath and not able to manage without assisted support, without oxygen or hydration or need antibiotics through an IV, those would be the people who would be admitted to hospital," said Dr. Tasleem Nimjee, an ER physician at the hospital.
While doctors at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this year as bad due to widespread flu activity and hospitalizations, Canadian numbers, so far, don't bear that out.
"Based on data up to January 4, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada would not characterize the current flu season as severe at this time," officials told CBC News in an emailed response to questions.
Loeb agreed it's too early to tell. Typically, flu season runs from mid-November until April.
"Flu epidemics are like a mountain. It's like an ascension and then you reach a peak and then you descend. Now we're on the ascension of that mountain and we don't know exactly where it will peak."
Flu shot, has been recommended by the doctors.
Although doctors are aware that this year's vaccine may not be a perfect match to the current strains, but doctors still believe that some protection is always better than none, according to Loeb.
"Sometimes prevention is harder for people to understand than treatment."