Heightened flu activity continues

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Saskatchewan health officials are now pointing to 12 deaths as a result of influenza during their must recent H1N1 update.

Earlier today Saskatchewan Health confirmed there have been 12 deaths and 49 hospitalizations along with 797 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza during the recent influenza season. those totals are all increased from the seven deaths, 32 hospitalized cases and 618 laboratory confirmed cases reported just a week ago.

Saskatchewan's original supply of 280,000 doses of influenza vaccination was used up, and additional supplies are limited. In response to this, the province has limited flu clinics to children under five years of age and pregnant women. By the end of the week, officials were extending immunizations for some individuals with severely immuno-compormised people including transplant patients, dialysis patients plus people receiving cancer treatment.

Saskatchewan Health also reminded the public to protect themselves against seasonal influenza by adopting infection prevention methods such as: frequent handwashing and cough and sneeze etiquette, cleaning surfaces often and staying at home when sick.

The most recent Flu Watch report issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that all of Saskatchewan remains in the sporadic activity category. However, neighbouring Alberta is showing widespread influenza activity across much of the central part of the province.

Nationally, as of figured available as of Jan. 4, there were 33 deaths associated with influenza, with three cases of individuals under 20 years of age, and 30 cases in individuals 20 years of age and older.

Organizations: Public Health Agency of Canada

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Alberta

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