6 flu-related deaths in Sask. since September, including 3 young children

Click to play video: 'Preschoolers in Sask. at greatest risk of catching latest influenza strain'
Preschoolers in Sask. at greatest risk of catching latest influenza strain
WATCH: Pre-schoolers are at the greatest risk of becoming sick from the latest strain of influence spreading through Saskatchewan. Ryan Kessler with the details – Jan 10, 2019

Another Saskatchewan life has been lost due to influenza, bringing the province’s total number of flu-related deaths to six since Sept. 1, 2018.

Three of those deaths have been unvaccinated children under the age of five.

“If you have a child that is sick, keep them at home until they are better, the three to four days it takes to recover from the flu,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.

“Don’t send a sick child with a fever to daycare or school because it’s really important to prevent further transmission in the school setting.”

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The province said children under the age of six months are too young be immunized for the flu so if young kids have a fever and are showing flu-type symptoms, it is important to bring them to see a health-care provider as soon as possible.

Fever, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and not wanting to be held are all symptoms, according to the province.

“While most children do well with the flu, if they are home [recovering] for three or four days, if the signs of symptoms progress, it is important to seek urgent care,” Shahab said.

From Dec. 23 to 29, 2018, the province reported 64 new influenza cases, including one death and one ICU admission.

In total, there have been 1,723 confirmed cases since the beginning of September — with 14 people sent to intensive care units.

The province said although the flu season has reached its peak, it will still take two to four weeks before the virus starts to settle down, and health officials are still encouraging people to get their flu shot.

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