Medicine Hat, AB - Since the 2018-19 Influenza Program started in October, 998,842 Albertans have been vaccinated to this point.
Alberta Health Services released their second flu-report for the season and the numbers are still relatively mild for the south region.
To date, a total of 77,206 people have been vaccinated in the south zone. This number is up from several weeks ago, when 67,872 had received their shot.
Within our region, the number of confirmed Influenza A cases has nearly doubled from 33 to 76. The provincial total sits at 1,985.
There is still only 1 confirmed case of Influenza B within the south zone, which is unchanged from the last report.
A total of 4 people have been admitted to hospital due to the flu, contributing to the total of 427 Albertans province-wide.
Since the last reporting period, a total of 6 people have died due to lab confirmed influenza. 5 of those people come from the Calgary health zone and the last person was reported from Alberta's north zone.
Over the past three years, a total of 19 people have died in the southern zone due to the influenza virus. These are the lowest totals per zone over that same time-frame.
One thing we've certainly kept an eye on is the amount of confirmed influenza A and B cases throughout the years.
In 2015-16, there were 272 confirmed cases of influenza A. The next year, this number slightly increased in the south zone to 278. During the 2017-18 season, influenza A impacted a total of 417 people.
Cases of influenza B have also been on a roller-coaster ride over the past three years.
After a confirmed 154 cases in 2015-'16, that number was nearly sliced in half the next year to 83. Just like influenza A, the number of confirmed cases for influenza B rose significantly last year to a total of 214 reported cases within the south zone.
The number of hospitalized patients in the south also fluctuated over the three years. 2015-16 (128), 2016-17 (126) and 2017-18 (192).
The easiest way to prevent the spreading of influenza is to get immunized. People should become accustomed to washing their hands more than normal or using hand-sanitizer.
When it comes to influenza, use common courtesy by covering your cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue; not your hand. If you're feeling terrible, be sure to not impact others by staying home.
There is one more opportunity to get your flu-shot at Higdon Hall today (Nov. 29) from 2 p.m - 6 p.m.
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