Flu numbers climbing sharply

The number of flu cases in Alberta has jumped over the last several weeks

Flu season is in full swing.

The number of Central Albertans admitted to hospital with the flu has more than tripled to 35 compared with 11 less than a month ago.

Lab-confirmed cases of flu climbed to 230 from the 72 recorded as of Nov. 11. There were 181 Influenza A cases and 49 Influenza B cases identified.

Province-wide, 1,772 cases of flu have been confirmed, up from 592 cases in the last update from Alberta Health Services (AHS). So far, 459 Albertans have been admitted to hospital for flu treatment, up from 178.

Eight Albertans with lab-confirmed influenza have died this flu season. None of the deaths have occurred in Central Zone. Six of the deaths were recorded in the Calgary Zone, with one each in the Edmonton and South Zones.

More than one million Albertans have rolled up their sleeves for a flu shot so far. As of the latest update, 1,004,537 Albertans had their shot, up from 807,628. In Central Zone, 93,363 people have been vaccinated, up from 72,121.

As of Dec. 4, just over half — 51 per cent — of Central Zone AHS staff have received a flu shot. Province-wide 55.5 per cent got the shot.

Influenza immunizations are available, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age and older, through AHS clinics, pharmacies and physicians. Children under nine cannot be immunized by a pharmacist but most go to a doctor or clinic.

Red Deer’s next flu clinic is set for Dec. 16 at the Red Deer First Christian Reformed Church at 16 McVicar Street. The clinic runs 9:30 a.m to 4 p.m. Drop in or pre-book an appointment.

For more information go to: www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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