H1N1 Virus in Quebec Drops Following New Report

By Emily Thomas, Goal.com A Quebec report on Thursday revealed that nearly 1,500 people in the province have contracted an H1N1 virus in the weeks since its previous report. The majority of those affected…

H1N1 Virus in Quebec Drops Following New Report

By Emily Thomas, Goal.com

A Quebec report on Thursday revealed that nearly 1,500 people in the province have contracted an H1N1 virus in the weeks since its previous report.

The majority of those affected are adults who contracted the virus at universities and daycare centres, although 42 of those affected were under five years old.

According to the new report, the number of new cases has dropped considerably since last report, which had placed the total at 1,490.

One child has died, bringing the total of deaths caused by the virus to five, but according to the Quebec Health Authority there are now 1,563 people believed to have contracted H1N1.

However, some parents in the province have expressed concern over the reported drop, with parents saying that several cases of pneumonia were reported after the initial reporting date, which places them in the top 20 of those most affected in Canada.

Along with the new cases, there has also been a drop in hospitalizations. As of Monday, the number stood at 1,527 – a 45% decrease on July’s count.

However, 40 more people have been sent home from the hospital, meaning that the overall tally has increased by 70.

While cases appear to be rising nationally, there have been notable drops in hospitalizations across the country.

During the first week of the month, 12 new cases were reported to the Ontario Centre of Disease Control, or less than one case for every 20,000, compared to 619 cases in April and June.

“Healthcare workers are being encouraged to refer patients to their physicians who might not have flu-like symptoms, to allow appropriate testing and case identification,” said Dr. Nannette Filou, acting chief of prevention and surveillance for the Ontario Centre of Disease Control.

And at a national level, there has been a 67% decline in hospitalizations between April and July from the previous year, when 14,000 hospitalizations had been reported.

“Health authorities and public health officials in Ontario and across Canada are continuing to monitor and assess levels of illness and progress in our efforts to protect the public from influenza season,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, president of the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Health officials have urged people to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they suffer from flu-like symptoms, especially those between the ages of 18 and 64.

H1N1 or “swine flu” is a viral disease that first surfaced in Mexico in April 2009 and quickly spread around the world, prompting recommendations that adults in high-risk groups be vaccinated against it.

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