H1N1 only flu strain appearing in hospitals - Metro US

H1N1 only flu strain appearing in hospitals

Health officials haven’t detected a single case of seasonal influenza in the province this flu season, meaning every lab-confirmed case of flu has also been a lab-confirmed case of H1N1.

“H1N1 is the only flu strain we are currently seeing,” said Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health Maureen Baikie.

Baikie spent over an hour yesterday going over the latest numbers released by the Department of Health, representing the week of Oct. 25-31.

During those seven days, Baikie said, a total of 226 people were diagnosed with the virus, compared to 126 the week before.

The percentage of emergency room visits for influenza-like illness also increased dramatically last week — up to 15.4 per cent from 3.7 per cent the week before — and family doctors reported they were seeing almost double the number of patients with flu-like symptoms.

“I don’t see anything that surprises me,” Baikie said of these latest statistics.

According to the province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Strang, people aged 10 to 19 are catching the virus in the greatest numbers, but usually display mild symptoms, and because of this aren’t considered high risk.

The total number of confirmed cases of H1N1 in the province since April currently sits at 959.

So far, just 42 people have been hospitalized and only one person has died of H1N1 in Nova Scotia.

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