Via CBC News British Columbia: H1N1 flu surge in B.C. Lower Mainland lands people in ICUs. Excerpt:
At least 20 people in B.C. are in intensive care, some of them on ventilators, because of the H1N1 flu virus, according to the chief medical officer for a B.C. Lower Mainland health authority.
Dr. Paul Van Buynder, with Fraser Health, said Friday that 15 patients, many of them otherwise healthy, young people, were recently admitted to intensive care units in hospitals in the region. By Sunday he added five more to the total for those in intensive care in B.C., where at least 40 people have been hospitalized due to H1N1 influenza this season.
"It is a lot for us at this particular time, especially because there is not a lot of circulating disease in the community at this point, and so we're worried that this has happened to so many people so quickly," he said.
He said the ages of the patients turning up with H1N1 flu span the spectrum, and include those in their 30s. He also said at least one of the patients is pregnant, and also that one person may have died from this flu strain.
"I have one person who hasn't been confirmed, but I'm pretty sure did pass away from this," Van Buynder told CBC News.
Van Buynder said medical officials are seeing small pockets of H1N1 breaking out across the region, in a pattern mirroring the flu's spread in Alberta, Ontario and Texas.
Alberta's Health Minister Fred Horne said last week that there have been 965 lab-confirmed cases, another 251 people have been hospitalized due to influenza and five people have died so far this flu season. In Ontario, six people are believed to have died from H1N1 influenza, and three have died from the virus in Saskatchewan.