‘Second wave’ of H1N1 outbreaks strike B.C.

The “second wave” of the H1N1 pandemic is getting underway in Canada, with British Columbia reporting eight deaths as health officials grapple with a flu outbreak that is unprecedented for the province this time of year.

VANCOUVER — The “second wave” of the H1N1 pandemic is getting underway in Canada, with British Columbia reporting eight deaths as health officials grapple with a flu outbreak that is unprecedented for the province this time of year.

Federal health officials assured the public Friday that pandemic preparations are in place, even as they warned that other provinces should expect to see an increase in the number of H1N1 cases themselves.

Ontario has already reported a spike in flu-like activity, while reports of the deaths of 11 children in the U.S. in the past week sparked fears the long-feared resurgence of the pandemic strain of the virus is underway.

“British Columbia is now well into what we might call the second wave of the H1N1 pandemic,” Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said at a news conference at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control Friday.

“Compared to the rest of the country we are seeing significantly higher numbers of influenza-like illness at this time. Our rates of prescribing of antivirals have gone up to about 5,000 a week.”

Kendall said that while the flu rate in the province is unprecedented for this time of year, it is not unprecedented for a flu season. Seventy-eight flu patients have been hospitalized so far.

Kendall said it’s not unusual for influenza to affect one area, and leave others relatively unaffected.

“Somebody has to be first,” he said.

Kendall, who was joined at the news conference by federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and national public health officer Dr. David Butler-Jones, said the B.C. disease control laboratory is testing about 700 samples daily.

About half are testing positive for influenza and most of those are the H1N1 strain.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says there have been 80 H1N1-associated deaths recorded in the country.

But Aglukkaq said while Canadians should do their best to remain informed of H1N1, they can rest assured that the proper preparations have been made at the federal level.

Just Posted

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

VIDEO: Central Albertans learn about Icelandic poet at Stephansson House

Harvest Fair and Quilt Show hosted at Stephansson House in Spruce View Sunday

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month