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H1N1 making a comeback

If you are feeling the effects of the flu, chances are you have contracted the H1N1 strain of influenza.

That according to Interior Health Public Health Officer, Dr. Sue Pollock, who confirms H1N1 is this season's predominant flu strain.

Dr. Pollock says the H1N1, or swine flu, is different and more problematic that other flu's in that it doesn't mainly strike people over 65.

"This has a different profile," explains Dr. Pollock.

"H1N1 affects young children under five, people with chronic health issues and pregnant women as well as older people."

The H1N1 strain hit hard in 2009. It was said to be responsible for tens of thousands of deaths worldwide.

Three people in Calgary have died from H1N1 since this flu season began, prompting Alberta Health Services to open more flu clinics in that province.

While Interior Health has no plans to ramp up the number of clinics offered in this region, Dr. Pollock does recommend people who have not been vaccinated to do so.

"H1N1 is contained within the flu shot. It does provide protection," added Dr. Pollock.

She adds that about 50 per cent of people are already protected from the H1N1 strain either through past exposure or past flu vaccinations.

Dr. Pollock says people should practice good health habits such as getting plenty of rest, eating properly and drinking plenty of water.

People are also reminded to stay away from work or school if they feel sick, and to practice good personal hygiene.


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