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Five flu deaths in fourth week of January: health unit

The Middlesex-London Health Building on King Street at Ridout Street, June 14, 2017 (Matthew Trevithick/AM980). Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

In just one week, the Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed 59 cases of the flu, with 29 hospitalizations and five deaths, a statement from the public health agency says.

The information came in the health unit’s community influenza surveillance report, covering Jan. 21 to 27. The numbers come as the agency reported five new influenza outbreaks, bringing the total since September to 39, in which now a total of 19 deaths have been reported.

“There are some indications that we may be nearing a peak in local influenza activity for the season,” the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s analysis of the data says, citing numbers approaching the severe 2014-2015 flu season.

Influenza B is appearing in “higher than expected” numbers, making up two-thirds of reported cases and institutional outbreaks in the flu season thus far.

The health unit is calling on Londoners to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already — in particular those working in hospitals, long-term care homes and retirement homes.

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