Ministry of Health
H1N1 FLU VIRUS (HUMAN SWINE FLU) UNDER SURVEILLANCE
Update: 12 p.m., Feb. 2, 2010
The majority of lab-confirmed cases in B.C. have been mild or moderate in severity, with the patients either having already recovered or currently recovering. While the Province continues to monitor all laboratory-confirmed cases, the weekly report includes only severe confirmed H1N1 cases (hospitalizations and deaths).
Please note, this week’s report will be the last regular update, but the BC Centre for Disease Control will continue to post influenza surveillance bulletins online.
When and where can I get the H1N1 vaccine?
The H1N1 flu vaccine is still available through public health units, physicians’ offices and trained pharmacists. Use the Flu Clinic Locator to find the nearest public health unit or pharmacy, call your family physician or check your regional health authority’s website for more information on receiving the vaccine.
Health authorities and physicians will be providing both seasonal influenza and H1N1 vaccine at least until March as per usual. People who get their H1N1 vaccine and for whom the seasonal flu vaccine is normally recommended are able to receive both shots at the same time.
Current status of outbreak
· On June 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its alert level to phase 6 (the pandemic phase). The WHO considers the overall severity of the pandemic to be “moderate”, which means that most people recover from infection without the need for hospitalization or medical care.
· To put the H1N1 outbreak in perspective, 400 to 800 people die in British Columbia from the seasonal flu or pneumonia each year.
Adverse events following immunization
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada, with the collaboration of provinces and territories, the Canadian Paediatric Society and a network of researchers are actively monitoring all adverse events following immunization to the H1N1 flu vaccine in Canada.
The majority of adverse events are not serious and include soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site, fever, rash, headache or muscle aches and pains.
All adverse events are monitored and investigated and the complete national vaccine surveillance report is posted online each week.
How can I stop the spread of the H1N1 flu virus?
· Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 if you have symptoms or concerns to speak to a nurse anytime of the day or night.
· See a health care provider if your symptoms become worse but call ahead to let them know you have fever or cough illness.
Who should be tested for the H1N1 flu virus?
· Our well-established surveillance system will continue to allow us to track both the spread and impact of the H1N1 flu virus in B.C. – but it is a system that doesn’t rely on doing a lab test on everyone with influenza-like illness.
· Testing will be determined by a doctor on a case-by-case basis, based on consideration of the individual patient’s situation and the presence of influenza in the community
· Patients who are not at high-risk for complications and who have only mild illness do not require testing, however, those with severe symptoms should seek medical attention.
What is H1N1 flu virus?
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport
Public Affairs Bureau
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.