Technology & Science

A by-the-numbers look at swine flu

With the shift into the post-pandemic phase, we offer a by-the-numbers look at the H1N1 virus and its toll on Canadians.
Canada ordered approximately 50.4 million doses of swine flu vaccine. ((Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press) )

World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan on Tuesday declared the H1N1 pandemic over, saying the spread of the powerful virus has finally waned.

"Recently published studies indicate that 20-40 per cent of populations in some areas have been infected by the H1N1 virus and thus have some level of protective immunity," Chan said in a statement.

"Many countries report good vaccination coverage, especially in high-risk groups, and this coverage further increases community-wide immunity."

With the shift into the post-pandemic phase, we offer a by-the-numbers look at the H1N1 virus and its toll.

18,449: Number of deaths from swine flu since the outbreak began in April 2009.

214: Countries and territories that reported laboratory-confirmed cases of H1N1.

39: Age of Adela Maria Gutierrez from Oaxaca, Mexico, the first registered swine flu fatality.

April 26, 2009: First case of swine flu reported in Canada.

June 11, 2009: Date the WHO declared an H1N1 flu pandemic, marking the first time it had called a flu pandemic in 41 years. "The world is moving into the early days of its first influenza pandemic in the 21st century," Chan said in Geneva. "The virus is now unstoppable. However, we do not expect to see a sudden and dramatic jump in the number of severe and fatal infections," she added.

50.4 million: Doses of H1N1 flu vaccine ordered for Canada.

5 million: Doses of H1N1 flu vaccine Canada donated to the World Health Organization for use in developing countries. The federal government also contributed $6 million to WHO's pandemic relief efforts.

Torontonians line up outside Metro Hall to be vaccinated.

$4.5 million: Cost of government's H1N1 public awareness campaign.

45: Percentage of Canadians who received the swine flu vaccine.

53: Percentage of Canadians who thought the H1N1 risks were exaggerated, according to an EKOS poll conducted for CBC.

28: Median age of Canadians hospitalized in intensive care for H1N1. By comparison, the median age of people admitted with seasonal flu or flu-related pneumonia is 71.

1.5 million: Canadians who missed work due to H1N1 or seasonal flu sickness, according to Statistics Canada. Flu-related absenteeism was highest in Newfoundland and Labrador, where 14.2 per cent of workers aged 15 to 69 reported lost hours. By comparison, the lowest rate was in Quebec, where 7.6 per cent of the workforce called in sick.

426: Number of Canadians who died of the swine flu, as of Jan. 28, 2010, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada's last H1N1 surveillance report. The numbers break down by region as follows:

  • British Columbia: 56
  • Alberta: 71
  • Saskatchewan: 15
  • Manitoba: 11
  • Ontario: 127
  • Quebec: 108
  • New Brunswick: 8
  • Nova Scotia: 7
  • Prince Edward Island: 0
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 18
  • Yukon: 3
  • Northwest Territories: 1
  • Nunavut: 1

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