April 26, 2009
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Department of Health asks the assistance of media outlets in distributing the following updated message to the public:
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of Health has been monitoring the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the United States since Monday, April 20.
On Friday, April 24, the Public Health Agency of Canada, working with Mexican health officials, determined that a high proportion of the cases of severe respiratory illness in Mexico is being caused by the same strain of human swine influenza reported earlier in California and Texas.
There are now six confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada, including some in Nova Scotia.
In the United States, there are now confirmed cases outside of California and Texas, including a cluster in New York City.
It is important to note that, although these cases have been linked to the cases of H1N1 in Mexico, all of the confirmed cases in Canada and the United States, to date, including those in Nova Scotia, are mild.
Of the six confirmed cases in Canada, four are in Nova Scotia. These four were part of a cluster of influenza-like illness cases in a group of school children. These cases continue to be investigated.
There are other suspect cases in Canada being investigated, and it is likely that additional cases will be confirmed.
Health experts are exploring possible causes for the mildness of the cases in Canada and the United States, in contrast to the more severe cases in Mexico.
MEDIA CONTACT: Megan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.