H1N1 flu in Alberta causes 10 deaths

Ten people between the ages of 18 and 64 have now died from flu, Alberta health officials said Monday.

Vaccinations urged as flu cases escalate

Dr. James Talbot, chief medical officer of health for Alberta, speaks to the media in Edmonton on Monday afternoon. (CBC)

Ten people between the ages of 18 and 64 have died from flu, Alberta health officials said Monday.

Of the 300 people now in hospital, 40 are in the intensive care unit.

Some of the people who died had underlying health conditions. 

Dr. James Talbot, the chief medical officer of health for Alberta Health, said the outbreak is not a pandemic, but H1N1 is the recurring strain people are getting this year. 

"Virtually all of the influenza that we're seeing in the province this year is H1N1," he said. 

More people have been immunized at this point than last year, Talbot added. 

Over the past few days, the escalation in flu cases has prompted health officials to urge people to get a flu shot. Long lineups have been reported outside of clinics operated by Alberta Health Services. 

People over the age of nine can also get flu shots at drug stores, but many of them ran out of vaccine over the weekend.

Talbot said another pharmacy vaccine drop is scheduled for Tuesday morning. However, all vaccines may be saved for the mass immunization clinics operated by Alberta Health Services. 

“The supplies are not infinite,” Talbot said. “It’s just too difficult to maintain a system with 1,500 entry points.”

About 23 per cent of Albertans have now been immunized. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.