One influenza-related death reported in Red Deer area

Flu hitting seniors

One person with influenza has died in the Red Deer region.

As of Dec. 17, a total of four people have died this flu season in Alberta including one in the Red Deer area.

Dr. Digby Horne, medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services Central Zone, said the influenza A strain circulating right now is impacting people over the age of 65 the most.

“There’s a few outbreaks in long-term care and supportive living. We were just notified of those this week,” Horne said on Thursday.

The latest AHS statistics show 11 people have been hospitalized so far this season in Central Zone, with 90 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A and one influenza B.

Across Alberta 1,026 cases were confirmed, the majority influenza A, and 259 people were admitted to hospital.

Calgary has been hit the hardest with 697 cases, 184 hospitalized and two deaths. Meanwhile Edmonton had 89 cases and 29 hospitalized.

During the 2015-16 flu season there were 62 influenza-related deaths in Alberta, including five people from Central Alberta. AHS Central Zone had 774 lab-confirmed flu cases and 202 Central Albertans were admitted to hospital.

Immunization against the flu is still available. Immunization is free of charge to all Albertans six months of age and older.

People can book appointments at AHS community health centres in Red Deer by calling 403-356-6429.

Some pharmacies and physician offices also offer influenza vaccine. Children younger than age nine must be immunized by AHS.

For information on immunization www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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