H1N1 in the spotlight again, Edmonton dealing with more cases than Calgary
Published Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:32PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:35PM MST
Health officials in the capital region are dealing with a sky-rocketing number of cases of H1N1, or Swine Flu – even though it’s an influenza strain included in this year’s vaccine.
Alberta Health Services told CTV News Tuesday that officials in the Edmonton region had handled 155 lab-confirmed H1N1 flu cases so far this season.
Edmonton’s number is considerably higher than in Calgary, where 15 cases have been confirmed.
However, Calgary had the season’s first death related to that particular flu strain.
A 64-year-old woman died on Feb. 13, after battling the illness for four weeks in hospital.
Family said Dr. Margo Husby-Scheelar had checked into a Calgary hospital in mid-January, after dealing with what she thought was a bad cold or flu for several days.
While that particular strain made headlines in 2009 during the so-called worldwide ‘Swine Flu’ outbreak, it hasn’t been top of mind for many until the news of Dr. Husby-Scheelar’s death broke.
Dr. Chris Sikora with AHS said some may be worried after seeing the numbers, and after recent developments – but most cases don’t become that serious.
On Monday, AHS said so far this year, a total of ten cases of influenza in Alberta that were related to H1N1, required hospital care.
“The majority of people recover just fine,” Dr. Sikora said. “That being said, there are high-risk groups that are affected more than others.”
Those high risk groups include seniors, and young children.
Health officials said the strain is included in this year’s flu vaccine, but supply is running low.
AHS maintains it’s a good idea for all Albertans to get the flu shot, especially those in the higher-risk categories.
With files from Jeff Harrington