Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

May 04, 2009 18:28 ET

Public Health Agency of Canada: New Developments Related to H1N1 Flu Virus

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2009) - The Government of Canada, today confirmed an additional 41 cases of H1N1 flu virus, bringing the total Canadian case number to 140. Today's case count includes one young patient from Alberta who has been hospitalized with severe illness. Up until now, all cases reported in Canada have been mild, and all those affected have made a full recovery at home.

"We wish this young girl a speedy and complete recovery," said Minister Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "We continue to closely monitor new cases in Canada and around the world in close cooperation with domestic and international partners."

As with any influenza, severe cases of H1N1 flu virus are to be expected. It is likely that heightened public health surveillance will uncover more cases as time goes by, with varying levels of severity. This is consistent with even seasonal influenza outbreaks.

"Even with regular seasonal flu, some people become very ill, sometimes even young people who were otherwise healthy," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, "That's why it's important we stay informed about this outbreak, and that we all take steps on an individual level to reduce the risk of infection."

The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to conduct heightened surveillance for this virus. Ongoing analysis of the cases reported continues to inform the public health response to this outbreak. For example, yesterday the Public Health Agency of Canada released guidelines recommending that school closures are not necessary to control the spread of the virus.

Steps to take to reduce the chances of becoming infected from influenza include:

- Wash your hands often and thoroughly or use hand sanitizer.

- Cough and sneeze in your arm, not your hand

- Keep common surfaces and items clean and disinfected

- Stay home if you're sick, unless directed to seek medical care

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