Canada reports first severe case of swine flu, national total continues upwards – Metro US

Canada reports first severe case of swine flu, national total continues upwards

Canada reported its first severe case of swine flu Monday – a young girl in Alberta – on a day when the case numbers continue to rise nationwide.

Health officials in Alberta have confirmed that a girl from the Edmonton area has been hospitalized – the first reported in Canada.

Dr. Andre Corriveau, chief medical officer of health, declined to give specific information about the girl’s symptoms, or to say whether she is school-aged.

“She is currently under care and is doing well,” Corriveau said.

“It is the first time that we have a case that requires hospitalization. All the other cases that we have had so far, which has been the pattern pretty much around the world outside of Mexico, (have been) mild and are recovering uneventfully.”

Ontario’s total number of cases almost doubled to 31, including a four-year-old child, pushing the national total to 130. The cases in that province spread, for the first time, outside the Toronto area to Windsor-Essex in the southwest and Sudbury in the north, among others.

The Alberta girl was admitted to hospital last Thursday. She is in stable condition, Corriveau said. Health officials would not say if her condition is potentially life-threatening.

Dr. Gerry Predy of Alberta Health Services said the province was not planning any school closures as a result of the girl’s severe case of the flu.

Predy said there is no evidence the girl or members of her family have visited Mexico.

“Our investigation isn’t complete, but so far we have no evidence of a connection of anybody who has travelled to Mexico,” Predy said.

The girl is one of six new swine flu cases in Alberta, bringing the province’s total to 24.

Nationwide, every case until this one has been mild.

Earlier today, Prince Edward Island confirmed its first two cases, New Brunswick reported one new case and Nova Scotia added five.

The Public Health Agency’s website says on average, the common flu sends about 20,000 Canadians to hospital each year. Between 4,000 and 8,000 Canadians can die of influenza and its complications annually, depending on the severity of the season.