Health officials encouraging influenza vaccination as severe flu cases increase across Alberta
Published Thursday, December 26, 2013 5:10PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, December 26, 2013 6:22PM MST
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has planned extra influenza clinics over the holidays to encourage Albertans to get their vaccination.
The concern comes after two deaths in the province and an increase in lab-confirmed cases.
Senior medical officer for AHS, Dr. Gerry Predy, said cases have doubled from 65 to 125 in the last week.
“The lab-confirmed case are only a small number of actual cases. Most people who get the flu don’t actually get a lab test.”
Dr. Predy also said the strain that has been causing the most problems has been the H1N1.
“We are also seeing a significant number of people being admitted to intensive care units,” he explained, adding many were younger patients.
“People have the notion that influenza just affects elderly people but particularly with H1N1 it can affect people in the smaller age groups as well.”
He said they expect even more cases after school starts again.
“We know that classrooms are a good place to transmit flu because kids are crowded together and they don’t often follow good hygiene.”
To find a clinic near you check out the AHS website.
With files from Sarah Richter