The number of people in the province who have died from illnesses exacerbated by influenza has reached five.
That’s fewer people this year than the same time last year, according to the Department of Health.
“There have been five flu-related deaths of individuals this influenza season, all of whom had underlying health conditions,” stated the flu update issued this morning.
“As of today, there have been 407 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. There have been 71 hospitalizations and 23 admissions to intensive care, of which, 62 people have been discharged from hospital.”
During the same period last year there were 645 cases of influenza, 220 hospitalizations, 26 admissions to intensive care, and 15 deaths.
The predominant strain of influenza this year is H1N1.
Between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, according to the Health Department’s website, influenza activity decreased. All regions reported sporadic influenza activity.
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Flu season in Newfoundland and Labrador circulates between December and April each year and to limit the spread of influenza, the Department of Health encourages residents to get the flu shot, which protects against the three strains of flu circulating this year, including H1N1.
Influenza vaccine is available through the four regional health authorities or through family physicians’ offices.
Visit the regional health authority websites for more information.