Five flu deaths confirmed

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Influenza vaccine available in all regions of province

The flu season in Newfoundland and Labrador circulates between December and April each year.

Five flu deaths confirmed

To limit the spread of influenza, residents are encouraged to get the seasonal flu shot, which protects against the three strains of flu circulating this year, including H1N1.

Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan indicated “While we have had a moderate influenza season to date, historically, we know that the flu will continue to be active in our province for at least another two months. We are encouraging residents to remain vigilant and protect themselves from influenza by getting a flu shot and continuing to practice proper preventive hygiene by cleaning their hands, covering their coughs and sneezes and remaining home when they are sick.”

Influenza vaccine is available in all regions of the province through the four regional health authorities or through physician’s offices that normally offer the vaccine.

As of today (Monday), there have been 407 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. The predominant strain of influenza this year is H1N1.

There have been 71 hospitalizations and 23 admissions to intensive care, of which, 62 people have been discharged from hospital.

The minister confirmed there have been five flu related deaths of individuals this influenza season, all of whom had underlying health conditions.

In comparison, during the same period last year there were 645 cases of influenza, 220 hospitalizations, 26 admissions to intensive care, and 15 deaths.

For more information on influenza, the vaccine or flu shot clinics throughout the province, residents may contact their primary health care provider or call the Newfoundland and Labrador HealthLine toll-free 1-888-709-2929. People can also visit the regional health authority websites for more information.

Organizations: Community Services, Newfoundland and Labrador HealthLine

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