An Edmonton girl who was admitted to hospital with “severe” symptoms of influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, is recovering, said Alberta’s top doctor after unveiling two more cases in Alberta yesterday.
Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta’s chief medical officer, says the girl did not require a respirator, but he wouldn’t comment on whether or not she was in an intensive unit citing privacy concerns.
“She was hospitalized and it was confirmed that she had a case of swine flu,” said Corriveau.
The girl was not living with anyone who returned to Mexico or the southern United States, which is why it’s believed the swine flu is spreading in Canada, said Corriveau.
Two more cases of swine flu were confirmed by medical officials bringing Alberta’s total to 26. Both are mild cases and involve young people in Calgary who are recovering in their homes. Corriveau says one is a young female who travelled to Mexico, while the other is a boy whose parents came back from there.
Alberta’s government has held daily news conferences into the outbreak up until yesterday. Corriveau says the conferences took up “way too much” of his time.
The risk of catching swine flu, meanwhile, from pork is totally negligible, the United Nations Food Agency said yesterday, reinforcing expert views that pigs infected with the strain pose very little public health danger.
Joseph Domenech, the chief veterinary officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, said that it made sense to wear protective clothing and take other precautions when handling live pigs who may not show signs of infection. But unlike the guidance issued to prevent exposure to H5N1 avian flu, he said the new flu strain did not present a special danger to those living on farms or near pigs.
“This new strain of influenza virus does not contaminate humans easily and has a very low pathogenicity for both humans and pigs, unlike the avian flu which killed millions of poultry,” Domenech said.
with files from reuters