A spike in cases shows Nova Scotia has entered the second wave of H1N1, but the province's chief medical officer is urging people not to hide away in fear.
Dr. Robert Strang said 80 people have been confirmed to have swine flu since the beginning of September, with one person being hospitalized. The amount of hospitalizations in the province due to flu-like symptoms has doubled in recent days.
The true number of infected isn’t known.
“Some people are saying for every lab-confirmed case there may be at least 20 more out there. But that’s frankly a bit of a guess,” Strang said.
He was asked whether drastic steps should be taken after a healthy, 13-year-old boy died suddenly from H1N1 Sunday in Toronto. However, Strang emphasized people shouldn’t feel the need to isolate themselves.
“We could have H1N1 for a long period of time. So are we all going to lock ourselves up for months?” he said.
“It’s all about balance here. We have to take this seriously, it is a serious disease… but we also want to avoid overreaction and unnecessary, alarmist responses.”
Strang said people who are sick should stay home and only go to hospital if their symptoms are severe enough that they would normally go. He advised healthy people to go about their day-to-day activities, albeit while following some basic prevention measures like washing their hands.
Strang also repeated the message that the best defence for Nova Scotians and their families against H1N1 is to get vaccinated.