(Photo by The Canadian Press)

Three more flu deaths in Central Zone

Eleven deaths have been recorded this flu season in Central Zone

Three more people died from the flu and the number hospitalized sharply increased over the past week in Alberta Health Services Central Zone.

As of Thursday, 11 flu-related deaths have been confirmed. That is the same number of people who died in last year’s entire flu season, with several months likely still to run in the 2017-18 season.

The number of people hospitalized in Central Zone over the past week has jumped to 212 from 126 in the week ending Jan. 25.

Province-wide, six more flu deaths were recorded over the past week, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths to 61. In the 2016-17 flu season, 64 Albertans died of influenza.

This season across Alberta, there have been 2,277 people admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed influenza.

Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, medical officer of health for Central Zone, said the worst appears to be over.

“Generally, things are beginning to improve compared to the first week of January and the last week of December.”’

“I think that was the peak.”

It is difficult to pinpoint why one year is worse than another.

“Every year is different. It depends on the virulence of the flu virus. The one this year seems to be a bit more virulent,” which means it is more able to cause disease.

“No two years influenza years are the same,” she said.

Likewise, how long flu season lasts varies year to year.

“Sometimes we see up to April and May. Sometimes, by April we don’t see anything.”

Just under 1.2 million Albertans have been vaccinated, including 107,577 in Central Zone.

Achebe said for those who have not been vaccinated yet it is still worthwhile. It takes about two weeks for the vaccination to kick in.

“If you get it now in two weeks you should get the protection at least.”

Influenza is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by a virus that is spread through the air. It is also spread by touching objects that have been coughed or sneezed on by someone with the flu.

A higher risk of complications from the flu is possible for children six to 59 months of age, pregnant women, people 65 years or older, and people with chronic health problems.

Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read