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Alberta reports 8 more influenza deaths, over 300 new hospitalizations

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Eight more Albertans have died from influenza, according to the latest data update from health officials bringing the total so far this season to 24. The 2021-22 flu season had a total of 14 deaths.

On Thursday, Alberta Health released data showing the deaths included four adults and four seniors.

One of the adults was between the ages of 30-39, one was aged 40-49, while two were in the range of 50-59 years old.

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

Three of the deaths were in the Calgary zone, one was in the North zone, while Edmonton zone and Central zone each reported two.

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

Alberta added more than 1,100 cases bringing the provincial total to 6,288 so far this season. This week cases increased by 22 per cent compared to 42 per cent the week prior.

According to Alberta Health data, this season to date has the fourth-highest number of cases in 14 seasons.

Calgary zone has the highest number of influenza cases in the province with a total of 2,233 so far this season. Of those, 408 are new, making up 18 per cent of Calgary’s total cases.

The Edmonton zone has the second-highest number of cases in Alberta, with 1,990. Of those, 247 are new.

The Central zone has 655 cases, the North zone reported 1,094 cases, while the South zone has 309. Seven cases have not been assigned a zone.

This influenza season 1,124 Albertans have required hospital care surpassing last flu season's total. That is an increase of 306 admissions or a 37 per cent increase.

The Calgary zone has had the most patients requiring hospital care this season with 454, followed by the Edmonton zone’s 366.

Of the 306 new admissions between Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, 25 per cent are under the age of nine. Forty-eight per cent are aged 60 or older.

To date, 112 people have required intensive care, an increase of 32. The majority of ICU patients have been in the Calgary zone.

Majority (12) of the new ICU admissions are people between the ages of 50 and 69. Seven children aged four or younger have also been admitted.

There have been a total of 38 outbreaks in Alberta so far this season. Majority have been at supportive living and home living sites.

Over 1.06 million influenza vaccines have been administered since Oct. 17, translating to 24 per cent of Albertans being immunized. There are also 13,000 more people vaccinated compared to this time last year.

Sixty-two per cent of Albertans 65 years or older have been vaccinated for influenza while 17.6 per cent of children between six months and four years have their vaccine.

Alberta will update its data next Thursday.

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