Calgary professor's H1N1 death prompts warning from family

A Calgary family is warning people to take the flu seriously after their mother died this week from H1N1.

Son of well-respected instructor says his mom's death highlights importance of getting flu shot

A Calgary family is pleading with people to take precautions after losing their mother to H1N1. The CBC's Sherri Clark reports. 2:19

A Calgary family is warning people to take the flu seriously after their mother died this week from H1N1 flu virus.

Margo Husby-Scheelar was a well-respected professor in the University of Calgary’s department of communication and culture.

The 64-year-old was sick for a week before she was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with H1N1. She died on Wednesday after spending nearly a month in intensive care, said her son Greg Scheelar.

Margo Husby-Scheelar died on Wednesday after complications from the H1N1 flu virus. (Submitted by family)

Scheelar said he wants to share her story to make sure no one else suffers a similar loss.

"Having other people learning from the mistake that she made would be totally in character for her," Scheelar said.

Alberta Health Services officials said they cannot comment on Husby-Scheelar’s death, but confirmed they are seeing three strains of the flu this year, including H1N1.

H1N1 is the same strain of flu that made headlines in 2009.

Not too late to get a flu shot

"Since that time, this particular H1N1 strain has now become one of our seasonal influenza strains we expect to see every year," said Dr. Judy MacDonald, the province’s medical officer of health for the Calgary zone.

"And there’s still cases of it and sometimes it can be very serious, but it’s not like it was when it first arrived."

Since the flu season began at the end of August there have been 260 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in Calgary, including 15 people with H1N1, officials said.

AHS recommends all Albertans older than six months get a yearly flu shot.

"It's not too late if you haven't had your influenza vaccine. It is still available at our public health clinics and some physicians and pharmacies," MacDonald said.

Greg Scheelar said his mother was just as great a mom as she was a teacher.

"A lot of her personality as a mom carried into what she did as an instructor. And I think vice versa as well," he said.