Over 200 Albertans with influenza have been hospitalized this flu season, mostly in Calgary

Over 200 Albertans with lab-confirmed influenza have been admitted to hospitals across the province this flu season, according to recent data from Alberta Health Services.

Numbers released by AHS on Wednesday show 205 people with the flu have been admitted to hospital so far and a whopping majority of those, 147 to be exact, have been in Calgary. By comparison, Edmonton has had only 29 people admitted to hospital with the flu.

Watch below: On Oct. 15, 2018, Doug Vaessen spoke about where Calgarians can get the influenza vaccine.

Most of the lab-confirmed cases of influenza in the province have been Influenza A at 910 recorded cases. There have been only 10 recorded cases of Influenza B that have been confirmed in a laboratory.

To date this flu season, nobody in Alberta has died of the viral infection. During the last flu season — between Aug. 28, 2017 and June 23, 2018 — 92 Albertans with lab-confirmed influenza died in hospital.

Watch below: (From September 2018) Flu season is here, and it’s time to be proactive. Here are the most effective and simplest ways to ensure you don’t get the flu this year.

As of Nov. 10, AHS said 830,376 Albertans have been vaccinated for influenza. Over the course of the last flu season, AHS said 1,229,350 people were vaccinated against the flu.

According to AHS, influenza immunization remains the single most effective way to protect yourself from the flu. Health officials say all Albertans six months of age and older should be immunized each season.

To find out where and when you can get immunized, click here.

Pharmacists in Alberta can now give the immunization to kids five and older. Until this flu season, all children under nine had to go to a public health clinic or doctor’s office to get the shot.

Watch below: On Oct. 21, 2018, Lauren Pullen filed this report from Calgary about kids as young as five being able to get their flu shot at local pharmacies.

According to Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, this year’s flu shot is anticipated to be much more effective than last season’s, which was found to be a poor match for the strain that circualted most widely, A-H3N2.

Murti said the 2018-2019 vaccine should fare better because the H3N2 component has been altered to reflect what’s forecast to be this season’s dominant type of that strain.

AHS tips to help prevent the spread of influenza:

  • get immunized
  • cover your cough
  • clean your hands thoroughly and often
  • stay home when you’re sick

For more information on the flu in Alberta, click here.

–With files from The Canadian Press’ Sheryl Ubelacker and Global News’ Lauren Pullen

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