H1N1 flu virus confirmed at a K+S potash mine in Sask.

Two workers from the K+S Legacy Project have been hospitalized in Regina. One case is confirmed to have the swine flu virus and a lab test is pending on the other.

2 workers have been hospitalized in Regina

Two workers from the K+S Legacy Project have been hospitalized in Regina. (Potashworks)

The swine flu virus has been confirmed at a K+S potash mine under construction near Bethune, Sask.

Two workers from the K+S Legacy Project have been hospitalized in Regina. The H1N1 flu virus has been confirmed in one case while lab results are pending for the other. Three other employees from that project have reported symptoms.

"Right now, at this time we have five reported cases internally, within KSPC, of influenza," said Colin Braithwaite with K+S.

"Right now we are working with the health regions to verify and confirm."

Colin Braithwaite, with K+S, says the company is working with health authorities to verify cases of H1N1. (CBC)
Braithwaite said they are working with the Saskatoon Health Region to confirm one case, while the other two are in other regions.

The company found out about the cases of flu-like illness on Tuesday. They have responded with notices at the worksite. 

The K+S mine site employs 2,300 workers and contractors.

"If you're feeling sick please stay home, do not come into work. If you have flu-like symptoms tell your supervisors so they're made aware," Braithwaite said, adding they are also reminding workers to wash their hands frequently.

The company will also hold a flu shot clinic on Thursday.

Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region deputy medical health officer Dr. Maurice Hennik said they have seen an increase in positive influenza laboratory reports across southern Saskatchewan.

"Particularly, we have seen the influenza H1N1 seemingly to be more predominant," he said.

He added that the likelihood of spreading influenza increases in a work environment like a mine because of the closeness of people and the increased sharing of facilities.

Bethune is around 50 kilometres northwest of Regina. 


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