Flu claims fifth victim in New Brunswick

The number of flu-related deaths in New Brunswick has climbed to five, according to the Department of Health.

More than 600 cases of H1N1, nearly 100 hospitalizations

The flu has claimed the life of another New Brunswicker, according to health officials.

The total number of deaths associated with seasonal influenza climbed to five, as of Jan. 18, the Department of Health's website shows.

Information about the individual's age, location, and any underlying health conditions was not immediately available on Friday.

It's also unclear which strain of the flu the victim had, but the predominant virus this year has been Influenza A, also known as H1N1, the province's deputy chief medical officer of health Dr. Denis Allard said.

One anomaly this season is that many of the victims were in the low-risk category, said Allard. They did, however, have health complications, he said.

"There was one among them that was a senior person, but all the others were 40s and 50s and they all had fairly complex health histories."

Health officials are not sure why the age group between 20 and 60 is more susceptible this season, said Allard, but have noted a large number of cases were of people who did not get a flu shot.

There have been 608 confirmed cases of H1N1 reported to public health since August, and three cases of Influenza B.

Nearly 100 people have been hospitalized, the figures show. Twenty-four have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

About 42 per cent of the hospitalized patients did not have the flu shot, said Allard.

Health officials continue to urge anyone who has not gotten the flu shot yet to do so.