The number of people in the province who died with lab-confirmed influenza rose to six, according to Alberta Health Services’ weekly report released Thursday.
Of the six deaths so far this flu season, three have been in the Edmonton zone, and one each in the south, Calgary and north zones.
The report that was released Dec. 19 includes data from Aug. 25 to Dec. 14.
As of Dec. 14, there have been 595 lab-confirmed cases of Influenza A and 733 lab-confirmed cases of Influenza B across Alberta.
In the same time period, 241 Albertans have been admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed cases of the flu.
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So far, 1,249,425 Albertans have received the flu vaccine.
“It’s remarkable to me that even though we know every year people die of the flu, that people still don’t get their flu shot,” said Dr. Jia Hu, AHS Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary Zone.
“When we hear about these deaths, it really is a call to action.”
Hu said the flu vaccine has been quite good at preventing the spread of the influenza B virus, proven to be about 70 per cent effective during the 2018-19 flu season.
AHS said there were 7,698 confirmed cases of influenza in Alberta last year, resulting in 52 deaths. Those numbers were lower than in 2017-18 when there were 9,609 cases and 92 deaths.
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Montreal and Quebec City will enter red zone soon: Dubé – Montreal Gazette
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“They’re decisions that will be very difficult, but we have to make them,” Dubé said.
On Sunday, Quebec had 71,901 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 4,937 were active and 5,825 had died. Of the active cases, 216 were in hospital, and of those 41 were in intensive care. The number of people in hospitals has increased 57 per cent in a week.
A total of 27,380 people tested on Friday, for a cumulative total of 2,260,835 people tested to date.
The rising number of infections underlines the need for people to forgo social gatherings, said Dr. Jay Kaufman, an epidemiologist at McGill University.
Get-togethers with friends and family functions are likely the main cause of the recent uptick in the spread of the virus, which is seeing its highest numbers since cases peaked in April and May, he said.
Montreal and Quebec City will be upgraded to red alert 'in coming days', says Dubé – CBC.ca
Montreal and Quebec City will be upgraded to the highest COVID-19 alert level “in the coming days” according to provincial Health Minister Christian Dubé.
He confirmed the two cities would move from orange to red alert while speaking on Radio-Canada’s popular Sunday night talk show, Tout le monde en parle.
“Montreal and Quebec City are the hardest hit areas at the moment. They’re very close to the red zone,” he said. “We’re going to announce in the coming days because I think we’ve arrived at that point. We’re there and we have to act because people are expecting us to be transparent.”
Dubé said that difficult decisions lie ahead but didn’t give details on exactly what the red zone restrictions would look like.
The number of COVID-19 infections in the province continues to surge, with Quebec reporting 896 new cases on Sunday.
The island of Montreal has the most new cases at 375. The Quebec City area clocks in at 120 and the Montérégie has 83 new cases.
Dubé and public health officials have been calling on people to stop socializing for the next month in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Possible COVID-19 exposures at two Winnipeg schools – CTV News Winnipeg
Public health officials are advising Manitobans about a possible COVID-19 exposure at two Winnipeg Schools.
According to the province, a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in École Précieux-Sang on Sept. 18.
The province also announced a possible exposure at Sisler High School on Sept. 18.
In both cases, health officials warned that the individuals might have been infectious at the time.
The province is deeming both exposures as low risk, citing the virus was not acquired at either school.
According to the province, both schools are working closely with public health officials and following their recommendations.
Anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted and provided instructions for self-isolation.
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