Flu season off to a later start this winter

The flu season has started later this winter than it did a year ago, with the peak not expected until the end of this month.

Compare that to the peak last year during the Christmas and New Year's holiday season.

Dr. Allison McGeer with Mount Sinai Hospital says experts don't know why the flu season starts earlier or later in certain years.

Statistics published by Toronto Public Health show that there were sixty new laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza between December 17 and 23, the latest data, compared to 30 the week prior.

Until there is more data, Dr. McGeer says it is unclear how severe the flu season will be this year, and how effective the flu shot is to battling the current strains.

She points out that it takes about two weeks for a flu shot to have maximum effectiveness, so you still have time to get vaccinated before the peak, which she expects to be in the last week of January.