Via the Calgary Sun: Spike in number of Calgary influenza cases worry Alberta Health Services officials. Excerpt:
Health care officials are urging Calgarians to be immunized against an influenza outbreak that’s spiking in the wake of three flu deaths.
Three people in the Calgary region have died from the flu since August, but Dr. Judy MacDonald said a seasonal epidemic of the disease that’s gotten dramatically worse this week threatens to deepen if people aren’t vaccinated.
“We’ve seen a real marked increase in the activity in the last couple of days and weeks,” said MacDonald, Alberta Health Services’s Calgary Medical officer.
Of 158 lab cases confirmed since August, 33 have been recorded since Monday, said MacDonald.
“That’s 20% of them in the last two-and-a-half days and some of them are really severe illnesses,” she said, adding at least 65 of the total cases have been hospitalized.
“It’s been a little concerning — some of the cases I’m talking about have been admitted to intensive care.
“There could be more than we’re even aware of.”
The deaths that have occurred this past fall aren’t unusual, she said, given that Canada can see up to 3,500 flu fatalities a year.
But the rate and severity of infections this month is alarming, she said.