Influenza in Alberta: Cases up slightly, one new death reported
One more Albertan has died from influenza since the last update according to the data, while newly reported cases for the last two weeks were slightly higher than the numbers seen for a month prior.
The death brings this flu season's death toll to 117.
In-hospital deaths as well as deaths in community settings reported by first responders are included in that number, while data for seasons prior to 2021-2022 only include hospital deaths.
This season, 2,077 Albertans have required hospital care because of influenza. There were 22 new admissions since the last Alberta Health update on Mar. 16.
The province was scheduled to release its weekly data on Mar. 23 but did not, citing technical issues, instead opting to release both last week's and this week's data on Thursday.
This season has the second-highest number of hospitalizations in 14 seasons.
The Calgary zone has had the most patients requiring hospital care, with 775, followed by the Edmonton zone’s 592.
Of the 22 new admissions between March 12 and March 25, 55 per cent were 30 or older. Five of the admissions were children between the ages of one and four.
To date, 213 people have required intensive care. One new patient between the ages of 70 and 79 was admitted in this update.
The majority of ICU patients this season have also been in the Calgary zone.
Alberta reported 130 new infections on Thursday. Seventy-three of those cases were reported in the week of Mar. 12, while 57 were reported the following week. This is a departure from new case numbers staying below the 50 case mark for the four consecutive weeks prior.
According to Alberta Health data, this season has the second-highest number of cases in 14 seasons, with 9,088 infections so far. The 2017-18 flu season had the highest number of cases, with 9,115.
The Calgary zone has had the highest number of influenza cases in the province, totalling 3,069 so far.
The Edmonton zone has had the second-highest number of cases in Alberta, with 2,635.
The Central zone has had 1,079 cases; the North zone has reported 1,605 cases, while the South zone has counted 690. Ten cases have not been assigned a zone.
Influenza A has made up 97.1 per cent of this season’s laboratory-confirmed cases.
OUTBREAKS AND VACCINATIONS
There have been a total of 100 outbreaks in Alberta this season. Fifty-five per cent have been at supportive-living and home-living sites. There were two new outbreaks in this update.
More than 1.3 million influenza vaccines have been administered since Oct. 17, translating to 27.7 per cent of Albertans being immunized. There are also 66,664 more people vaccinated compared to this time last year.
Of Albertans aged 65 or older, 63.8 per cent have been vaccinated for influenza, while 29.9 per cent of children between six months and four years have their vaccine.
Alberta updates its influenza data on Thursdays.
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