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Flu season more aggressive than last year, data shows

TORONTO, Ont. – If you’ve noticed more people around you coughing and sneezing — that’s because the flu seems to be more aggressive right now than in 2012, according to health officials in Canada and the U.S.

Toronto Public Health said as of Jan. 2, it had 199 new lab-confirmed cases reported. At this time in 2012, there only eight new cases reported in the city.

According to Health Canada, the number of cases of the flu were way up by mid-December compared to 2012, and the flu season hasn’t even peaked yet.

Health officials in the United States are concerned, saying no flu season has hit this hard and fast in over a decade.

A U.S. health official said many cases apparently have to do with a strain of influenza called subtype B, which is not included in this flu season’s vaccine. Experts warn that you’re infectious for a full day before you show any symptoms at all.

Even so, if you haven’t had a flu shot, health officials are urging you to get one.

The flu typically strikes any time between November and April, with a peak somewhere near the end of January.