Alberta Health Services report seven more deaths from influenza
Alberta Health Services says seven more patients admitted to hospital for influenza have died over the past week.
CALGARY -- Alberta Health Services say seven more people have died from confirmed cases of influenza in hospitals across the province.
The agency released the latest results on its website Thursday and say 19 people have died from influenza so far this season.
Three of those deaths occurred in the Central Zone while the Edmonton Zone reported two more deaths.
The Calgary region and North Zone each reported another death since the latest release of influenza data.
Dr. Jia Hu, Medical Officer of Health, says the statistics so far on the season are pretty much what they expected.
"The number of deaths really correlate with the number of cases."
He says the best protection against influenza is to get the flu shot and not many people understand how vital that is.
"About 3,500 people die from flu in Canada each year," he says. "Only about 30 per cent of people get the shot."
This year's vaccine covers two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B, which is a good thing, Dr. Hu says, because they've been seeing a lot more influenza B cases this season.
There have also been over 300 hospitalizations for influenza in both Calgary (303) and Edmonton (309).
Public health clinics and pharmacies across the province have administered 1,335,178 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine so far.
You can go online to find out where you can get the flu shot for you and your family.
Dr. Hu adds the flu can be pretty unpredictable, but the season is expected to taper off sometime between March and May.
Influenza immunization is currently available, free of charge, to all Albertans aged six months and older.