The virus has become so ubiquitous in the United States that it has been called the most pervasive infectious disease in human history.
In many parts of the world, the flu is the virus of choice for people with weakened immune systems, as well as for those with chronic health problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling it the world’s most serious pandemic.
The flu, though, is also a common seasonal disease in Canada and Europe, which is why experts are warning about its spread in the coming months.
But it’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood illnesses in the developed world.
In Canada, for example, the virus is not a seasonal problem, says Andrew Stromberg, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Manitoba.
He says there are many misconceptions about the flu.
“The most common misconception is that people don’t feel ill,” he says.
“I think the real problem is that it’s not really a seasonal illness.
People are often not aware of that.”
The flu is a serious disease that affects an estimated 1.8 million people in the country, including about 2 million in B.C. According to WHO data, there are about 200,000 cases and nearly 4,500 deaths each year.
That’s about half the number of deaths in the U.S. and the third-highest in the world.
That means the U,S.
population has the most deaths of any developed country in terms of number of people.
But Stromenberg says the flu has a much higher mortality rate.
“That’s not surprising,” he said.
“There are very few countries that have a very high death rate, and the only other countries that are consistently higher are Australia, New Zealand and the U.”
In Canada and Western Europe, there have been a number of cases of influenza this year that have been linked to the flu, although the virus has been found in a number more than 50 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.
In the U of A, the death rate is the second-highest after the U., with about 5,000 deaths in 2017.
Stromber says the most common symptoms for flu-like illness are fever, cough, sore throat and fatigue.
He said flu-related hospitalizations are rare.
He also said the flu vaccine, the only vaccine available in Canada, is not effective in preventing the virus.
“This is an incredibly dangerous time for people in Canada,” said Stromberger.
“If we continue to wait until it becomes clear that it is an influenza pandemic, then we are not prepared.”