Influenza in Alberta: Less than 100 new cases, second highest number of deaths in 14 seasons

In a one-week period, six more Albertans have died from influenza, according to the latest data from health officials, while newly reported cases decreased for the eighth week in a row since the peak in mid-November.


The total of 96 deaths to date makes the current flu season the second-highest of 14 flu seasons in the province. The 2014-15 season had the highest number of deaths, with 114.

Of the six adults who died, five were seniors. Two of the seniors were between the ages of 70-79, and three were 90 years or older.


One adult was in the 50-59 age range.


The North and South zone both reported two deaths, while the Central zone and Calgary zone reported one each.



This influenza season, 1,965 Albertans have required hospital care. There were 47 new admissions in the latest update.


To date, this season has the third-highest number of hospitalizations in 14 seasons.


The Calgary zone has had the most patients requiring hospital care, with 747, followed by the Edmonton zone’s 542.


Of the 47 new admissions between Jan. 8 and 14, 11 per cent were under nine. Seventy-four per cent were aged 60 or older.


To date, 202 people have required intensive care, an increase of eight since the last update. The majority of ICU patients have also been in the Calgary zone.


Five of the new ICU admissions this week are people 50 years or older. One child between the ages of one and four has also been admitted.



New cases of influenza dropped for the eighth week straight after Alberta reported 90 new infections on Thursday.


According to Alberta Health data, this season has the second-highest number of cases in 14 seasons, with a total of 8,585 infections so far. The 2017-18 flu season had the highest number of cases, with 9,115.


The Calgary zone has the highest number of influenza cases in the province, with a total of 2,904 so far this season. Of those, 38 are new.


The Edmonton zone has the second-highest number of cases in Alberta, with 2,445. Of those, 18 are new.

The Central zone has had 1,031 cases, the North zone has reported 1,531 cases, while the South zone has counted 667. Seven cases have not been assigned a zone.


Influenza A has made up 99.6 per cent of this season’s laboratory-confirmed cases.



There have been a total of 92 outbreaks in Alberta so far this season, an increase of two. Fifty-four per cent have been at supportive living and home living sites.


More than 1.2 million influenza vaccines have been administered since Oct. 17, translating to 26.9 per cent of Albertans being immunized. There are also 60,992 more people vaccinated compared to this time last year.


Of Albertans aged 65 or older, 63.1 per cent have been vaccinated for influenza, while 25.3 per cent of children between six months and four years have their vaccine.



Alberta updates its influenza data on Thursdays. 

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