January 10, 2019 8:17 pm
Updated: January 23, 2019 3:29 pm

Calgary mom with H1N1 flu in medically induced coma

WATCH: A Calgary mother is fighting for her life after falling ill to H1N1 flu. The 38-year-old is in a medically induced coma and as Heather Yourex-West explains, her family is now urging others to get a flu shot.

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According to her family, Nevada Cunnington was the picture of health over Christmas but on New Year’s Day, she began to feel unwell.

“It was just a normal cold, we all thought,” Cunnington’s daughter Emily Kezama said.

Kezama said her mother’s cold-like symptoms quickly escalated to the point where the 38-year-old sought emergency department care.

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“We expected to go there and just get more medicine and instead, they’re like, ‘We don’t know if your mom is going to make it.'”

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

Cunnington is now in a medically induced coma, fighting H1N1 flu, the family told Global News. Kezama said her mother had not been immunized.

“We never really expected a healthy person to be healthy and then, the next thing you know, be in ICU.”

READ MORE: 17 Albertans with confirmed cases of influenza have died so far this flu season

“The flu, H1N1 strain, can affect all ages but it can typically impact young people more severely, which is why it’s very important for that group to be immunized,” said Dr. Jia Hu, Alberta Health Services (AHS) medical officer of health for the Calgary zone.

LISTEN: Dr. Craig Jenne joins Calgary Today to talk about H1N1 and the risks associated.

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AHS says there have been 4,797 lab-confirmed cases in the province since August. One-thousand-and-seven people have required hospitalizations and 20 people have died.

While there have been no pediatric deaths this season in Alberta, across Canada 414 children have been hospitalized. Seventy-one have required intensive care and at least three children have died.

READ MORE: Canada’s flu season started early this year, and might be hitting kids hard

A gofundme page has been set up to help Cunnington’s family cope with lost wages during her hospitalization.

WATCH BELOW: Calgary emergency departments are dealing with a nightmare before Christmas with no end in sight. A bad flu strain combined with several other highly contagious bugs are putting a lot of pressure on city hospitals and as Heather Yourex-West explains, the worst may be yet to come (Tue, Dec 18).

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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