H1N1 flu claims ten lives in Alberta

Health officials said an effort to get more Albertans to get the flu shot has so far been a success, as the number of people being hospitalized has grown over the weekend.

On Monday, Alberta Health Service senior medical officer of health Dr. James Talbot said ten people had died in the province from the flu – their ages ranged from 18 to 64.

The majority of lab-confirmed flu cases in the province are H1N1, Dr. Talbot said – and more, about 300 cases had resulted in hospitalizations, about 40 cases are in Intensive Care Units as well.

Meanwhile, AHS said more Albertans are seeking the flu shot – people who sought the shot at a number of clinics in Edmonton saw wait times of up to an hour Monday.

The province is also aggressively pushing Albertans to get vaccinated, on Monday; AHS said more Albertans had been vaccinated this flu season than during the previous season.

In the 2012-2013 flu season, Dr. Talbot said about 23 percent of all Albertans received the flu shot, and there were doses left over.

This year, however, he said the province had ordered more – he said about 1.1 million doses were ordered.

Plus, Dr. Talbot said a vaccine shipment that was initially meant to go to Italy, had been redirected to Alberta mass immunization clinics.

The Edmonton Catholic School Board is also helping in the push for immunizations – letters were sent home to parents Monday, urging parents to get the vaccination, and to vaccinate their children. The school board is also sanitizing what they call “high touch” areas.



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