The latest influenza statistics from Alberta Health Services were released on Jan. 23, 2020. (File photo contributed)

Four flu deaths reported in central Alberta

19 influenza deaths across the province

The number of central Albertans who have died from the flu has climbed to four this season, according to the latest report from Alberta Health Services.

Across the province, 19 people have died.

Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, medical officer of health with AHS’s central zone, said that about three weeks ago, influenza infections jumped.

“We hope that we’ve seen the surge, and moving forward, we’ll see a decrease,” Achebe said Friday.

As of Jan. 18, a total of 89 people in central Alberta have been hospitalized with the flu, up from 57 the previous week. Across Alberta, 787 people have been hospitalized.


Awareness is needed to prevent the spread of new virus in central Alberta, says expert

Central Alberta reports first influenza death of the season

Influenza B continues to be the dominant strain. Central Alberta has seen 356 lab-confirmed cases, up from 264 the week prior.

Influenza A cases total 206, up from 189.

She said the influenza A vaccine may be a better match this season than the influenza B vaccine, but that won’t be known for a while.

“This season is very different and I’m very interested to read the analysis that will be done at the end of this flu season.”

Alberta has experienced 4,198 lab-confirmed influenza cases so far.

Achebe said the flu season runs until early April and people should continue to practice proper hygiene, such as washing their hands, covering their cough and staying home when sick.

And it’s not too late to get immunized, which takes two weeks to take affect.

During Alberta’s 2018-19 influenza season, 5,939 cases were confirmed and 30 people died, including nine people in central Alberta.

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