Additional flu clinics offered across Southwest

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Flu vaccine clinics added in Shaunavon, Leader and Maple Creek

Cypress Health Region adding flu clinic on Jan. 7

In response to the growing number of H1N1 flu cases being reported across the country, the Cypress Health Region is offering four additional influenza immunization clinics this week across the Southwest.

Clinics were offered in Swift Current, Shaunavon and Leader earlier this week, while the fourth and final additional clinic offered this week runs today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Maple Creek Hospital (Public Health Office).

The immunizations are free of charge, and the public is strongly encouraged to take advantage of this extra influenza clinic.

Influenza activity has been witnessed in many parts of the country this year, including Saskatchewan, and health officials have identified the predominant strain currently circulating to be H1N1. The H1N1 strain created a pandemic situation in 2009 and is continuing to experience heightened activity this flu season. This year’s flu shot protects against H1N1 and other viruses.

The four western Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have all reported H1N1 cases, many of which are serious enough to require intensive care.

“We are cautioning the public to be aware of this situation at this point in time and if you haven’t already done so, please contact Public Health to receive your influenza immunization,” commented Dr. David Torr, Consulting Medical Health Officer for the Cypress Health Region. “The cases that are being reported are very severe and H1N1 is already responsible for a number of deaths in Alberta this season.”

In addition to the predominant H1N1 strain, other viruses are currently circulating that are causing nasal congestion and cold symptoms. Influenza typically presents with fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and cough and can lead to severe pneumonia and other complications.

Immunizations will continue to be available to the general public and can be received by contacting your local community’s public health office or by calling toll-free 1-866-786- 2510. You may also contact your family physician’s clinic regarding vaccine availability.

Currently, approximately 30 per cent of the health region’s residents have been immunized for influenza in 2013, leaving 70 per cent of the Cypress Health Region’s population un- immunized and at increased risk of contracting influenza.

Organizations: Community Health Services, Cypress Health Region

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia Manitoba Swift Current

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