Severe H1N1 flu cases in Fraser Health prompt new call to immunize

More than a dozen hospitalized patients in region ventilated in intensive care

It's not too late to get the flu shot

Fraser Health is urging residents to get the flu shot if they haven’t yet had it after a surge in severe cases of H1N1 influenza.

As of Monday, 30 patients sick with suspected H1N1 had been treated in hospital intensive care units with artificial respiration, although some have since been discharged.

One patient has died but the case has not yet been confirmed as H1N1 flu.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder said the cases here are mirroring the pattern seen recently with outbreaks in Alberta, Ontario and Texas.

Ill patients here are not the very elderly, but adults of various ages from 20 to 60, he said. Two are pregnant women and others suffer from chronic illness or are very overweight.

“We’re surprised at how many have come in such a short period of time with such severe disease,” Van Buynder said.

Hospitalized patients are at Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial and Abbotsford Regional hospitals, Van Buynder said, but added that’s just because the most seriously ill patients concentrate in the region’s three big hospitals.

The virus isn’t limited to any particular community.

“This is right across Fraser,” he said.

Van Buynder said all patients currently hospitalized with the flu are expected to survive, but he said the outbreak is disturbing.

“We are urging those who have not already had their flu shot to get one. It is not too late.”

Anyone who got the 2013 flu shot is immunized against the now-circulating strain of H1N1, he said.

People who got the H1N1 flu shot in 2009 – when there was widespread concern about an outbreak of that strain – may have some immunity but are urged to get a new shot.

“We’re not sure whether this virus has moved a little bit,” Van Buynder said.

“We recommend people get the current vaccine rather than relying on the previous one.”

B.C.’s Influenza Control Policy came into effect Dec. 2.

In addition to health care workers, anyone visiting someone in a health-care facility will be expected to have been vaccinated or wear a mask to help protect those most vulnerable this influenza season.

For more information about influenza and vaccination clinics, see immunizebc.ca

 

Just Posted

ACES grows the love of gardening with annual seed exchange

The event will be returning to Harrison Mills Community Hall on March 1

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

UPDATE: Chilliwack man arrested for Agassiz break and enters

Westin Ferguson, 19, faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

5 to start your day

The B.C. government released it’s 2019 budget, we break down snow removal per capita and more

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

Most Read