The Edmonton Flu Care Clinic has been open for just over 24 hours and has seen dozens of patients, reported a spokesperson for Alberta Health Services Saturday afternoon.

The clinic, which is located in the former Woodcroft health centre at 13221 -115 Avenue, has treated just over 40 people since it opened at noon on Friday.

But AHS says the clinic is equipped to deal with many more patients, and is not operating anywhere close to capacity.

A similar clinic was opened during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009; that clinic treated nearly 300 patients per day.

Clinic staff have been trained specifically to manage influenza symptoms, and are on hand to assess, treat and advise patients with moderate symptoms. Flu shots will not be given at the care clinic.

Patients who believe they are seriously ill should still go to a hospital, AHS advises.

The care clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

Vaccination clinics closed

AHS closed the doors on its three flu vaccination clinics at 4:30 p.m. Friday when it ran out of the vaccine.

Some doses have been set aside for children who had their first dose earlier this season and need a second dose and to deal with outbreaks in health care centres and continuing care facilities.

On Friday afternoon, Canada secured an additional 245,800 doses of the flu vaccine; it is now up to each province and territory to request new supplies. 

More than 1,500 cases of the flu – mostly the H1N1 strain – have been diagnosed in Alberta this season. Eight confirmed deaths have been linked to the flu.