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Influenza claims four more lives in the Calgary area
Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:04PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 6:24PM MST
Four more people have died from complications resulting from influenza in the Calgary area and health officials say it’s more important than ever to get immunized against the disease.
Alberta Health Services released new numbers on Thursday, indicating that 762 people in the Calgary area have been admitted to hospital with lab confirmed influenza this season.
16 people have died as a result of the disease so far this season too.
Officials say that pregnant women are especially at risk and need to get the shot to protect themselves and their unborn children.
That fact is all too clear for Marlena Bova, who teaches pre and postnatal fitness at a private studio. Bova is a new mom herself and understands the need to get immunized.
Bova says she’s never gotten the flu shot before, but wanted to start to protect herself and her four-month-old daughter Eveleigh.
“I think we’re going to start with her once she’s eligible and probably for us too as our parents age, just to keep everyone protected.”
Dr. Eliana Castillo, who works at the Cumming School of Medicine, says that mothers need to start their influenza immunization schedule earlier and pregnant women need the shot to help avoid getting sick.
“Your chances of landing in the hospital, ICU, having a premature birth of having a baby smaller than it’s supposed to be are higher,” she says.
She says that without a flu shot, those risks are about five times higher. Plus, the baby is often born with protection against the illness.
“That is very, very important because for the first six months of life because babies cannot get the influenza shots that we have.”
She says that about 70 percent of the pregnant women she’s spoken with have gone ahead and gotten the flu shot.
For more information on influenza and Alberta Health Services’ immunization program, you can visit the official website.
(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)