01/23/2015 10:22 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT

Flu in B.C. has 'passed the epidemic peak': Health officials

The flu is still ripping through care facilities, schools and hospitals, but health officials said the influenza epidemic has likely passed its peak.

Still, the latest bulletin from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) said flu activity is still very high, with 22 new outbreaks at long term care facilities in the week of Jan. 11 to 17.

That brings the total number of outbreaks at B.C. care homes since the start of flu season to 126, already exceeding the record number by more than a third, according to the BCCDC.

Hard on the elderly

Data from the BCCDC shows the highest number of influenza cases continues to be adults over the age of 65. The centre said the number of cases at BC Children's Hospital has already started to decline after spiking over the holidays.

Health officials blame a mismatched flu vaccine for the record number of outbreaks, as it offers little to no protection against this season's dominant strain, A(H3N2).

Officials base their belief the peak of the epidemic has passed in part on data that shows the second week of January is usually when the highest number of flu-like symptoms are reported to doctors.