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

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

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read