The flu strain at the heart of a pandemic in 2009 is on the rise in Manitoba.
H1N1 is the dominant strain in a recent flu spike in the province.
In the last week of February, Manitoba Health says 21 people were hospitalized because of the flu, and two of them died. But according to Manitoba Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Routledge, these numbers are nothing to panic over.
“When we look at the numbers we’re seeing so far, and we’re really probably in the middle of our wave or the peak, the numbers are pretty consistent in what we’ve seen in other years.”
11 people in the province died from H1N1 in the 2009 pandemic, but Dr. Routledge say the virus has been part of a vaccine for years now and there is a much higher level immunity now than when it first appeared.
“By and large, it’s acting like we would expect. It does tend to impact on younger people a bit more than our typical flu season does. The flu shot this year is quite good. Last year during the course of the season the virus changed so it didn’t match up with the vaccine very well. This year the vaccine matches up quite well with the virus.”
Both victims at the end of February were under the age 65, but the province has not said where in Manitoba they lived or if either of them had the H1N1 strain.