Flu still circulating in Central Alberta

Flu season in Red Deer peaked in January but there are still cases being reported regularly.

Flu season in Red Deer peaked in January but there are still cases being reported regularly.

Alberta Health Services updated its influenza statistics for the 2013-14 winter this week.

The stats show a total of 91,482 vaccinations in the Central Zone, which includes Red Deer and the surrounding area. There were 493 confirmed cases of influenza with 95 people hospitalized and two deaths associated with the seasonal flu.

The numbers do not include the Red Deer nurse who died of H5N1 in January.

But flu season isn’t over just yet, said Dr. Ifeoma Achebe. The AHS Central Zone medical officer of health said while the peak may be over, there are still cases being reported, at a slowly declining pace.

“Within the last week we’ve recorded 20 new cases in the Central Zone,” said Achebe. “That says a lot that the flu is still circulating in our community.”

She said people should continue to practise precautionary measures, including washing hands with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes into tissue paper or their arm or sleeve, and staying at home when you have influenza symptoms.

“We had the peak about two weeks ago,” said Achebe. “It’s gradually slowing down, but it is still very much around in our communities.”

She said the takeaway from this flu season is people need to get their vaccinations earlier.

“A few days after the clinics opened the attendance was really poor, people didn’t come out en masse to get immunized,” said Achebe. “Towards the end of the year and in early January, we started having increasing numbers of cases and the increase in severity affecting young people and that created anxious moments and people started wanting the vaccine.”

Alberta ran out of the influenza vaccine early in January. A total of 1,101,868 influenza vaccines were administered across the province.

Next winter, Achebe encourages people to come out earlier and get their vaccine.

This year’s flu season was different from others because there were cases where flu symptoms were more severe in the younger age groups, which Achebe said is contrary what the influenza virus has done in the past.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

High profile individual delays UCP vote for Red Deer-South

Nomination vote to be held early in 2019

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read