Canada's caseload of the virulent flu strain known as H1N1 reached 51
on Friday as British Columbia and Nova Scotia together reported 10 new
cases of the disease described as a "medical condition" by Prime
Minister Stephen Harper.

B.C.'s four new cases involved one
youngster, one teenager and two adults - all in the province's Lower
Mainland, all mild and all involving people who were either recently in
Mexico or in contact with people who were, said Premier Gordon Campbell.

While
neither the status nor the number of cases in Canada should be
considered cause for alarm, the level of worry surrounding a virus
that's fuelling fears of a global pandemic is perfectly justified,
Campbell told a news conference.

"We expect, and our experts
expect, that the number of cases will continue to rise," Campbell said
of the province's caseload, which is currently at 15.

"Unfortunately,
we may see some deaths. We have deaths from flu every year. It's
important for us to recognize that and it's important for us to
recognize that, again, there is no reason we can't deal with this
constructively and positively if we all pay attention to it."

Much
the same warning came from health officials in Nova Scotia, which is
where Canada's first cases of H1N1 came to light last weekend, all of
them from a private school where a group of students had recently
returned from a school trip to Mexico.

Indeed, all the new cases
are students from the King's Edgehill private school in Windsor, N.S.,
said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer.

"At
this point we're not seeing severe cases such as have been experienced
in Mexico," Strang said. The province's total caseload is now 14, he
added.

"We do expect to see new cases and we anticipate more in
the coming days. As with normal flu, once the number of cases does
increase, it is normal to see more severe cases and potentially even
some deaths."

Ontario reported four more mild cases, all in the Toronto area, bringing the province's total to 12.

In
Alberta, two more mild cases involving two women from Calgary, one a
recent returnee from Mexico and the other from Tennessee, brought the
total number in the province to eight, said Dr. Andre Corriveau, the
province's chief medical officer of health.

Corriveau said
health officials have heard that some businesses in Alberta are
requiring any staff who have recently visited Mexico to see a doctor
before they return to work, a step he described as unnecessary.

"We are appealing to people to be reasonable - not to clog our health-care system unnecessarily."

On
Friday, the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton said it was asking
parishes to make changes to help prevent the spread of infection.

Priests
have been asked to stop distributing consecrated wine from the common
cup and to encourage parishioners who usually receive communion wafers
on their tongue to receive it in their hands instead.

"It is
important to note that the Phase 5 WHO alert does not mean a
life-threatening health situation in the Archdiocese and that the steps
being recommended are precautionary," Archbishop Richard Smith said in
his letter to priests.

An official with the Canadian Conference
of Catholic Bishops said it was not immediately clear how many of the
other 14 Archdiocese across the country are taking similar measures.

At
an event in Edgeley, Sask., Harper said he's confident that Canadians,
while taking the necessary precautions and eyeing developments with a
sense of concern, are not getting carried away.

"My sense is the
public is, like ourselves, concerned, but I don't sense a panic,"
Harper said. "I sense the public is listening very carefully to various
advisories and warnings they are getting and responding appropriately
and that's what we encourage."

Harper, who was asked about the
World Health Organization's decision Thursday to begin referring to the
virus by its formal name rather than the more colloquial "swine flu,"
glanced over his shoulder at an aide for confirmation of the new
designation.

"This is obviously a medical condition so it makes
sense to refer to it that way and I gather that's a standard that the
World Health Organization is now trying to encourage," Harper said.

"The
health risks here are to humans; that's the concern ... It is not the
health of the hog industry in any way that is at stake here, so we will
encourage that terminology."

Strang said all of the Nova Scotia
students who had swine flu were now better, after spending at least
seven days in isolation, and are no longer infectious.

One of
the six students who became infected with swine flu was actually on the
trip to Mexico, while the other five caught it after the students came
back to Canada. Fifteen students at the school are still in isolation,
he added.

Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician adviser with Nova
Scotia's Department of Health. said there hasn't been a significant
increase in the number of people going to emergency departments around
the province.

"At this point, the (flu) cases have been mild, and nobody has been hospitalized."