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Alberta reports 4 new influenza deaths, surpasses last seasons total

Photo via PEXEL Photo via PEXEL
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Four more Albertans have died from influenza, according to the latest data update from health officials bringing the total so far this season to 16. The 2021-22 flu season had a total of 14 deaths.

On Thursday, Alberta Health released data showing the deaths include an adult between the ages of 30-39 and three seniors.

Of the seniors, two were between the ages of 70-79, while the third was between 80-89 years of age.

Two of the deaths were in the Edmonton zone, while the Calgary and South zones both reported one.

Along with the deaths are increases in influenza cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Alberta added more than 1,500 cases marking a 42 per cent increase in one week. That brings the provincial total to 5,163 so far this season.

That number of cases is higher than the total number reported during the whole 2021-22 season, which had a total of 2,906.

Up until this week’s update, Edmonton zone was reporting the highest number of influenza cases in the province, but Calgary zone now has the most infections with a total of 1,825 so far this season.

Of those, 582 cases are new, making up 32 per cent of Calgary’s total cases.

The Edmonton zone now has the second-highest number of cases in Alberta, with 1,743. Of those, 364 are new.

The Central zone has 517 cases, the North zone reported 852 cases, while the South zone has 217. Nine cases have not been assigned a zone.

This influenza season 818 Albertans have required hospital care surpassing last flu season's total. Two hundred sixty-eight hospitalizations, or 33 per cent of this season's total, have been between Nov. 20-26.

The Calgary zone has had the most patients requiring hospital care this season with 320, followed by the Edmonton zone’s 281.

Seniors are requiring hospital care the most, including those 70-79 years of age (143 hospitalizations), followed by 60-69 years old age (132 hospitalizations).

Seventeen per cent of the hospitalizations this season have been children ages four or under.

To date, 80 people have required intensive care, an increase of 28. The majority of ICU patients have been in the Calgary zone.

Most of the admissions have been those 60-69 years of age (14 admissions) closely followed by seniors between the ages of 70-79 (12 admissions), and children aged 1-4 (12 admissions).

There have been a total of 54 outbreaks in Alberta so far this season, an increase of 20 since the last update. Majority of outbreaks are for Influenza A and COVID-19 combined at supportive living and home living sites.

The number of influenza vaccines administered since Oct. 17 has now surpassed the one-million mark. That translates to 22.5 per cent of Albertans being immunized but still 16,000 fewer people vaccinated compared to this time last year.

Sixty per cent of Albertans 65 years of age and older have been administered this year's vaccine.

Alberta will update its data next Thursday.

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