Young child’s swine flu death is first in B.C., raises national tally to 43

VANCOUVER — Health officials in B.C. have confirmed the province’s first death associated with swine flu, raising the national tally to 43.

VANCOUVER — Health officials in B.C. have confirmed the province’s first death associated with swine flu, raising the national tally to 43.

A young child, who had underlying medical conditions, was admitted to hospital on Sunday and died within 24 hours of admission. Testing confirmed the child did have the H1N1 virus.

“We’ve confirmed the first known H1N1-linked death in our province,” said Roy Wadia, spokesman for the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The child’s age and gender were not disclosed.

Wadia said a second British Columbian, also from the province’s Fraser Valley, likely had H1N1 when she too passed away. But the young woman, who lived with someone diagnosed with the virus, was not confirmed to have the flu herself.

“If she had been tested (before she died) for H1N1, she may have been confirmed as a case but we’ll never really know and so she wouldn’t be counted as part of the official tally,” he said.

“It is likely she had H1N1 but it hasn’t been confirmed.”

There have been 382 confirmed H1N1 cases in B.C. overall. Fourteen of those patients have been admitted to hospital and five of those 14 have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said any death is a tragedy and extended his sympathies to the families.

Kendall said health officials anticipated there would be some deaths in B.C.

“As unfortunate and tragic as these cases are, it was not unexpected that British Columbia would see some deaths caused by or associated with the H1N1 flu virus,” Kendall said in a statement.

When asked how B.C. managed to fend off its first death as long as it did, Wadia said there were a number of factors at play.

“Certainly, we have been encouraging people since the early days of the outbreak to come forward and get tested, especially in the first few months when the cases were more travel-linked,” he said.

“And so it may well be that our system has been able to catch cases early in the game. It’s also a combination of good fortunate, as well.”

Earlier Tuesday, health officials in Quebec reported another death in that province associated with the swine flu.

Across Canada, there have been more than 9,700 cases of the virus since the outbreak began, with most being mild.

There have also been 14 deaths in Ontario, six in Manitoba, three in Saskatchewan and three in Alberta.

Nationwide, the common flu sends about 20,000 Canadians to hospital each year.

The Public Health Agency’s website says between 4,000 and 8,000 Canadians can die of influenza and its complications annually, depending on the severity of the season.

Just Posted

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Red Deer woman wins $1 million in lottery

A Red Deer woman spent $5 on a lottery ticket and became… Continue reading

Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show in Red Deer this weekend

The event is at Westerner Park Friday to Sunday

Blackfalds closes road because of spring thaw

Broadway Avenue from Aspen Lakes Boulevard to Township Road 40-0 to be closed on Monday

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Home renovator Mike Holmes oversees reno for paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player

AIRDRIE, Alta. — One of Canada’s most recognizable home renovators has acted… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Flyers, Blackhawks, Sabres and Lightning to Europe in ‘19-20

Jakub Voracek was psyched at the mere suggestion the Philadelphia Flyers might… Continue reading

Danish receiver Nielsen looking to defy the odds again, this time at CFL combine

TORONTO — He’s coming to the CFL’s national combine as a definite… Continue reading

Mom with kids on YouTube channel suspected of child abuse

MARICOPA, Ariz. — A woman who operated a popular YouTube channel featuring… Continue reading

Most Read