After confirming an Edmonton-area woman is dead after contracting influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, Alberta Health Services officials are assuring residents there is no need to panic.

The middle-aged woman is the second to die in Alberta since the outbreak of the virus.

Officials were tight-lipped yesterday about the woman’s condition before her death, but did say she suffered from pre-existing chronic health complications.

She was medevaced to a hospital in Edmonton from another province on June 30, but died the same day, officials said yesterday.

In spite of the recent death, health officials are urging residents to remain calm and stay the course with frequent handwashing.

“We’re delivering the same message we have been saying,” said Alberta Health Services spokeswoman Jackie Bhatti. “Over 4,000 Canadians die from flu every year.”

As of yesterday, the total number of H1N1 cases in the province rested at 1,098. Roughly two-thirds of the confirmed cases were reported in the Edmonton area, and of those, 45 required hospitalization.

Officials said vaccines will be available for all Alberta residents by mid-fall.