Flu death toll in Alberta reaches 34

The number of deaths and serious cases of flu continues to rise in Alberta, new numbers show.

11 deaths in Edmonton, 10 in Calgary to date in current flu season

People who get immunized see their risk of getting sick from the flu reduced by 50 to 70 per cent, according to Alberta Health Services. (Tony Talbot/AP)

The number of deaths and serious cases of flu continues to rise in Alberta, new numbers show.

Alberta Health Services reported Thursday that 34 people with lab-confirmed influenza have died during the current flu season — 11 in the Edmonton zone, 10 in the Calgary zone, six in the south zone, five in the central zone and two in the north zone.

When AHS last reported numbers on Jan. 19, it said there had been 18 flu deaths in the province.

Since then, nine more deaths were reported in the Edmonton zone, four more in Calgary, and one more in each of the south, central and north zones.

AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson said the numbers don't accurately reflect how the virus is spreading.

"Deaths are not reported to us in real time," Williamson said in a statement to CBC News.

"The number reflects the number of deaths this influenza season — they are cumulative and thus not reflective of the deaths necessarily occurring in the past week."

A total of 924 Albertans have been admitted to hospital with the flu so far this season.

Laboratory tests have confirmed 2,754 cases of influenza A and 32 cases of influenza B.

In the 2015-'16 flu season, there were 5,311 lab-confirmed cases of flu, the highest in five years.

More than one-third of those people ended up in hospital, and 62 people died.