Hospitals throughout Vancouver Island are ‘over capacity’ and a Medical Health Officer describes the cramped quarters as something that is ‘fairly common.’

Doctor Shannon Waters notes that the flu people are coming down with this year is in the influenza A category, but it’s the H1N1 strain, affected younger populations.

Waters said the strain that was most common last year was the H3N2 strain, which affected seniors.

“The average age of someone who is being hospitalized with influenza was 72 last year, this year it’s 51,” said Waters. “We have a lot more middle-aged people and children who are becoming very ill with the flu, needing to be hospitalized.”

Many people thought the flu season was over, however, it was never officially announced as being over and Waters said a second wave of the H1N1 influenza strain hit about three weeks ago.

“As the season goes on we really get an idea of what strain is circulating and when we saw that was the case, we’re seeing what we expected, that it would be younger and middle-aged people that were struck with worse illnesses from the flu,” said Waters.

The H3N2 strain, which affects seniors was prominent last year.

Island Health has issued an apology to a man whose father had to spend five days in a gurney in a Victoria General Hospital hallway.