While Calgary has been an epicenter of flu outbreaks, the central zone has seen a great number of flu cases.
Weekly Alberta Health Services (AHS), releases weekly flu surveillance numbers, and while Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, Medical Health OfficeR for Central Zone, says they are not able to provide a number specific to Drumheller, in the central zone, there have been 677 lab confirmed cases of Influenza A and 270 lab confirmed cases of Influenza B.
“Right now we have seen a lot of cases in Central Alberta,” said Achebe. “It is not localized to a particular community or just Drumheller, it is widespread. We are dealing with an outbreak that has been going on since the last week of December and it is still on.”
He said last year there were three outbreaks in the area, and this year there have been 21 so far.
According to the AHS, last year the central zone saw 552 laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza A and 92 Cases of Influenza B.
Last season there were 11 reported cases of Albertans deceased who had lab confirmed cases of the flu, compared to just two so far this season.
Last season there was over 106,000 doses of vaccine administered, compared to just over 105,000 this year.
“It was about the same,” said Achebe. “When we start there is a lot of interest and then it begins to slow down.”
He said vaccines are still available at Flu Clinics as well as pharmacies. The next Flu Clinic at the Drumheller Health Centre is Thursday, January 18. Appointments are required.