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Influenza is on the rise in Central Alberta

Four new deaths reported
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FILE - Influenza and COVID-19 immunizations are available free of charge to all Albertan six months of age and older. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Lab-confirmed influenza cases in Alberta have soared by 51 per cent — and 68 per cent in Central Alberta — according to the latest data from Alberta Health.

So far this season 4,065 flu cases were reported in Alberta, up by 1,390 in the data released for the week of Nov. 26 to Dec. 2 on Alberta Health’s Respiratory Virus Dashboard.

Across Alberta, there were six new deaths and a total of 26 deaths this season. In Central Alberta, four new deaths were reported, and there have been a total of six deaths.

Alberta Health Services Central Zone has seen 581 flu cases so far, up by 236 in the latest data, and 111 hospitalizations, up 41. ICU admissions total 14, up four.

Across the province, there have been a total of 777 hospitalizations, up 113, and a total of 98 ICU admissions, up 20.

Alberta Health says it’s not unusual for influenza transmission rates to increase at this time of year. The flu season started slightly later this year and cases have not increased as rapidly compared to last season. There have also been fewer hospital admissions so far.

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A total of 40 Central Albertans have died this season from COVID-19, including three more deaths reported in the latest data.

Across the province 270 Albertans have died from COVID this season.

Alberta Health Services zones with the most deaths are Edmonton with 95 (up 13), and Calgary at 82 (up two), followed by Central Zone.

Across Alberta, there were 760 new COVID cases and 10,336 cases this season, 328 hospitalizations (2,471 this season) with 19 in intensive care (138 this season).

AHS Central Zone reported 115 new COVID cases for a total 1,524. COVID hospitalizations climbed by 33, for 327 this season, and COVID patients in ICU increased by three for a total of 23 for the season.

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Across the province, 202 more RSV cases were identified, bringing the total to 785 this season, including 62 in Central Zone (up 15). There are no reports of hospitalizations or deaths.

Influenza and COVID-19 immunizations are available free of charge to all Albertans six months of age and older.

Immunizations are available through public health clinics, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices.

“When you and your family get immunized, you’re protecting yourselves and helping to build your community’s defense against influenza and COVID-19,” said Dr. Kristin Klein, lead medical officer of health for communicable disease control with AHS, in a statement when the immunization campaign began in October.

“By protecting yourself, you also help protect your family, friends, communities, at-risk Albertans and our healthcare system.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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