Dr. James Irvine.

Right now, about 25 to 30 lab tests per week are coming back positive for influenza in Northern Saskatchewan.

This flu season, which comes a few weeks later than the flu season in southern Saskatchewan, is putting pressure on health centres, especially in the northwest.

In most cases there’s nothing more that can be done in hospital than people can do for themselves at home, said Dr. James Irvine, Medical Health Officer for Northern Saskatchewan.

“In some areas it is happening that we’re seeing a lot of people come. And for some that’s really good and important for them to be seen but for the majority of people it’s fine for them to try and manage at home,” Irvine said.

Normal flu symptoms include fever, muscle aches and pains, headaches and the chills.

Irvine says those with chronic conditions, children under the age of five and the elderly should go to the hospital if they’re having those issues.

But Irvine says there are some conditions that warrant a trip to the doctor regardless of your age. This includes shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, confusion, drowsiness, and blueness of the lips.

Otherwise, it’s best to stay in bed and stay hydrated for five to 10 days. He points out staying at home also lessens the chance of spreading the flu.