Alberta now has six more H1N1 flu cases, including a young girl who is in hospital with “severe” symptoms, said the province’s chief medical officer of health yesterday.
Dr. Andre Corriveau said the girl was admitted into hospital last Thursday with the influenza A virus.
“It is the first time that we had a case that requires hospitalization,” said Corriveau.
“All other cases we’ve had so far, which has been the pattern pretty much around the world outside of Mexico, (have been) mild and are recovering uneventfully.”
Health officials wouldn’t reveal the girl’s age, citing privacy concerns, but they said there was no need for school closures.
“We are still investigating and we are trying to track down all of the (patient’s) contacts,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, a senior medical officer of health with Alberta Heath Services.
Corriveau said the girl and members of her immediate family have not recently visited Mexico, where the illness originated.
The province has so far recorded 24 cases, and all of the cases have included people under the age of 42. Not all of those cases are still active.
“This is an indication that those are the people that are travelling more,” said Corriveau. “That is the pattern we are seeing so far.”
Of the other five cases, two are from Calgary and three are in central Alberta, said health officials.
Corriveau said four of the people who contracted the virus had recently travelled to Mexico.
Meanwhile, Alberta’s pork industry says its producers have taken a hit in their pocketbooks since the scare began, especially after a farm worker who came back from Mexico infected a herd of pigs in central Alberta last month.
“When it was called the swine flu, our markets dropped severely,” Jurgen Preugschas, president of the Canadian Pork Council, said yesterday.
“(The producers) put in a lot of effort to provide a safe and healthy product,” he added. “(The flu) has not changed that aspect one little bit. There is no danger (in) eating pork.”