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Flu season arrives later than usual

People of Alberta are reminded to get their flu shot after 5 deaths in the province. According to this week’s report compared to last week, the numbers of influenza cases has been up week to week. Dr Kathryn Koliaska, Alberta Health Services’ North Zone Medical Health Officer says we are seeing lab tests and hospitalization increase.

“Flu season is a little bit later than it was last year. So, we are just starting into flu season. Where as last year, it was a little earlier and closer to the Christmas season.”

The Medical Health officer says it is encouraged to get the flu shot. AHS says 3 of the people who died were in the Edmonton Zone and 2 were in the Calgary zone. 1 of the 5 deaths was a child that had only had half of the needed dosage for immunization. The other four people had NOT had their influenza shot. Koliaska says you’re cutting it close but it isn’t too late to get the shot.

“We would certainly encourage getting the flu shot…the influenza immunization is available in the Public Health Centers.”

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AHS says just over a million doses have been given this season. The shot is free for all Albertans six months of age or older. You can get more information at the AHS website.

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