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Number of flu-related deaths in Alberta this season jumps to 6: AHS

Click to play video 'Mike Sobel gets his flu shot live on air' Mike Sobel gets his flu shot live on air
OCt. 18: Flu season is here but there are ways to protect yourself. Pharmacist Deepak Narang stops by to talk about the flu shot. And, Mike Sobel receives his shot live on air – Oct 18, 2019

The number of people in the province who died with lab-confirmed influenza rose to six, according to Alberta Health Services’ weekly report released Thursday.

Of the six deaths so far this flu season, three have been in the Edmonton zone, and one each in the south, Calgary and north zones.

READ MORE: Alberta prepares for flu season despite delays in vaccine shipments

The report that was released Dec. 19 includes data from Aug. 25 to Dec. 14.

As of Dec. 14, there have been 595 lab-confirmed cases of Influenza A and 733 lab-confirmed cases of Influenza B across Alberta.

In the same time period, 241 Albertans have been admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed cases of the flu.

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So far, 1,249,425 Albertans have received the flu vaccine.

READ MORE: 3 flu deaths in Alberta so far this season: AHS

“It’s remarkable to me that even though we know every year people die of the flu, that people still don’t get their flu shot,” said Dr. Jia Hu, AHS Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary Zone.

“When we hear about these deaths, it really is a call to action.”

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Hu said the flu vaccine has been quite good at preventing the spread of the influenza B virus, proven to be about 70 per cent effective during the 2018-19 flu season.

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AHS said there were 7,698 confirmed cases of influenza in Alberta last year, resulting in 52 deaths. Those numbers were lower than in 2017-18 when there were 9,609 cases and 92 deaths.

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