The H1N1 influenza strain has caused 24 deaths this flu season, across Canada. Out of those 24 deaths, 4 dead among children were recorded, while 414 kids hospitalized. Even though the death tool and hospitalization numbers are still lower in comparison to 2018, the virologists warned that H1N1 is affecting kids and young adult more than the rest of the population. Thus, taking the flu shot is the best ally against influenza season this year.
“The severe illness that we’re seeing is unexpected, and to be honest, unprecedented from previous years. We’re seeing more admissions to the intensive care unit and what we know is that the kids that have been admitted to the ICU, none of them have had the vaccine,” explained Dr. Tanya Holt, the head of pediatric intensive care unit at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, for CTV News.
The experts have already announced that this year’s flu season is led by H1N1 influenza strain which is similar to the swine flu that affected the world about ten years ago, but which is not going to be as severe as that one.
H1N1 Influenza Strain Warning – 414 Kids Hospitalized And 4 Dead
“We’ve almost had a doubling of presentations to the emergency department, and that’s caused… prolonged wait times for patients who are coming for evaluation. Our peak numbers have been over 300 patients a day. The ‘sweet’ spot for an emergency like ours is about 200 patients a day, so we’ve really seen an increase in volumes,” said Dr. Harley Eisman from the hospital’s pediatric emergency service for CTV News.
“The severe cases have often been the toddlers. But we’re also seeing it in kids that are less than 12. They’re ending up on the ventilator, they’re ending up having prolonged stays in the intensive care unit, and some of them have even had complications,” also explained Tanya Holt.
“This particular virus [H1N1 influenza strain] is a match to the strain contained in this year’s influenza vaccine. I do encourage Canadians over the age of six months to get the flu shot. It’s not too late,” concluded Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam for CTV News.