Alberta Health Services released a report on confirmed cases of influenza in the province on Thursday and so far several people have been hospitalized with the flu but there have been no fatalities reported.
Over 817,000 Albertans have received the vaccination this year and that includes about 317,000 Calgarians.
So far, there have been 172 cases of influenza A and three cases of influenza B confirmed in Calgary since August 28.
“This year we actually had a couple of outbreaks in September so it looks like it is coming in earlier,” said Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health for AHS. “So far we’ve seen more activity in the south and in the Calgary area and south of Calgary but, of course, because influenza is pretty contagious, it’s not unusual for that to happen, we usually see it starting in one part of the province and by the time the outbreak is over, it usually spreads quite widely across Alberta.”
The report shows that 95 people have been admitted to hospital this season with lab confirmed influenza:
- Calgary Zone: 60
- Central Zone: 7
- Edmonton Zone: 11
- North Zone: 4
- South Zone: 13
“We don’t really know what triggers the annual outbreak specifically but we do know that once it starts to hit the province it’s going to spread so again the message to people is to get vaccinated,” said Predy.
Predy says the number of immunizations is down a bit from this time last year and that the provincial target is to do 30 percent of the population.
The influenza vaccination is available free of charge to all Albertans six months of age or older.
For more information on influenza and to find a vaccination clinic, click HERE.