Saskatchewan Health Authority confirms five deaths from influenza this flu season

The Saskatchewan health Authority is confirming five deaths from influenza since September of 2019.

Of the five deaths, two were adults, while the rest were senior citizens, meaning no children died from influenza that the SHA knows about.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said North American is experiencing a unique flu season where both strains are circulating at the same time.

“For us in Saskatchewan, about a quarter of lab isolation’s are ‘B’ and 3/4’s are ‘A,’ but in other parts of Canada they are seeing almost equal amounts of ‘A’ and ‘B.’”

Dr. Shahab said this shows the importance of getting the flu shot every year.
“The important thing to remember though is that all of these strains are covered by the flu vaccine, so if you’re vaccinated, that’s a good thing,” Dr. Shahab said. “If you still haven’t been vaccinated, you can still get the flu vaccine. It’s available at all of the usual places.”
Dr. Shahab said this year’s “A” strain typically impacts the eldery, which would be one reason why there have been 30 outbreaks in long-term care facilities since September.
“The ‘B’ strain can effect younger people more severely (but) we haven’t seen that to that extent in Saskatchewan yet,” Dr. Shahab said. “But with school having opened after the holidays, we still need to be aware that we have to keep children home is they’re sick.”
In all, there have been an estimated 1,000 lab confirmed cases in that same time frame, and 16 cases that have seen patients admitted to Intensive Care.

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