Updated: Fraser Health issues H1N1 warning

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

The Fraser Health Authority is putting out an Influenza warning.

Doctor Paul Van Buynder says the Health Authority is seeing severe cases of H-1-N-1 pop up in the region in patters similar to what has happened in Alberta.

Van Buynder says some one has died but the jury is still out if in fact H1N1 is responsible.

“I don’t want to confirm that because they did but I don’t have results back. So at this point we do have a person who passed away with fairly classic disease processes but we don’t have confirmation at the moment that, that is H1N1. The message is that I think there has been a death but I don’t want to say there definitely has been.”

Van Buynder says they have over a dozen adult men and women of various ages including some pregnant women who are in intensive care units right now.

He cautions these are not elderly or vulnerable people but healthy adults of various ages with some in their 30′s.

“It is people between the ages of 20 and 60 and although some of them do have what we know are risk factors. Two of them are pregnant. Some are heavily overweight and some have got other chronic heart or lung diseases but they are people who are otherwise well. We are seeing some very severe disease in a group of people that has come upon us quite quickly in Fraser Health at this point.”

Van Buynder is urging people to get their flu shot.

Meanwhile, there are 25 adults hospitalized with the virus in the Vancouver Coastal area, about 5 of them are children.

Medical Health Officer, Doctor Meena Dawar says the influenza vaccine that’s been offered this season does offer protection for H1N1.

“What is unusual is that unlike the virus that we saw last year which primarily affected older people, what we’re seeing is   H1N1 back again and we would really encourage people to be vaccinated, there’s still vaccine available.”   Dawar says kids under 5 years old and adults between 18 and 64 are the most susceptible.

Five people have been killed and almost 1000 people diagnosed with H1N1 in Alberta.

And in Saskatchewan health Authorities are reporting three H1N1 deaths, two of those are young children.

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