News / Calgary

Calgary records province's first flu-related death: Alberta Health Services

More than 245 cases of influenza reported in the Calgary zone this season, according to AHS.

The first flu-related death this year has been confirmed in Calgary.

The latest influenza numbers, released Thursday by Alberta Health Services (AHS), reported one person with lab-confirmed influenza has died in the Calgary zone.

“That’s what influenza can do. It can be very serious,” said Dr. Judy MacDonald, Medical Officer of Health with AHS for the Calgary zone.

Information about the deceased is not being released due to privacy reasons.

Calgary is a hotspot for influenza this year, with 245 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A, and three cases of influenza B in the city. 

“We know (influenza is) going to come every year, this year it’s Calgary’s turn,” said Dr. MacDonald.

By contrast, Edmonton has 24 confirmed-cases of influenza A, and four cases of influenza B.

In Calgary, 80 people have been hospitalized with influenza so far this year, and 344,608 doses of the vaccine have been administered. 

Dr. MacDonald said the strains circulating this year are the same as the four different strains of influenza covered by this year’s vaccine.

“Even healthy people get influenza. We unfortunately have had some deaths in these cases in the past,” said Dr. MacDonald.

“Making a decision to be immunized protects you, and also the people around you,” she added.

The influenza vaccine is free to all Albertans six months of age or older. AHS recommends frequent hand washing, covering your cough, and getting immunized as soon as possible to prevent contracting the virus. 

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