Health

First hospitalized case of H1N1 flu virus confirmed in New Brunswick (09/07/08)

NB 970

July 8, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of Health today announced the first hospitalized case of the H1N1 virus in New Brunswick. This case is in addition to the six cases announced yesterday.

In May, at the height of public interest in the outbreak, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary said that it would be surprising if New Brunswick did not experience more cases, and more severe cases, as time passed.

"Late yesterday we received confirmation that a woman in her 30s from northern New Brunswick has the H1N1 virus," said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, deputy chief medical officer of health. "She is currently recovering in hospital."

The provincial case count totalled 16 prior to today's announcement; at the end of June, the total was 10.

The Department of Health anticipated that more severe cases would happen, and health-care staff are prepared to respond appropriately. Clinical guidelines are in place to ensure effective management of severe influenza-like illness in all health-care settings in the province.

Van Buynder reminds New Brunswickers to continue to use preventative measures to help reduce the spread of the flu. That means washing hands thoroughly and often, and coughing or sneezing into sleeves.

People who are at high risk of complications from influenza-like illness should seek medical attention promptly. Those at risk include pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, or those with compromised immune systems.

If people have influenza-like symptoms they should stay home and minimize contact with family members as much as possible. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician, a walk-in clinic, or the nearest hospital emergency department.

It is important for New Brunswickers to understand that if they do not have influenza-like symptoms it is safe to go to work and school, participate in activities, and to socialize.

The total number of cases reported in New Brunswick since the outbreak began on April 26 is now 17. No cases reported prior to today have required hospitalization, and all those affected are recovered or recovering.

More information on the H1N1 virus may be found online, or by calling the 24-hour H1N1 line at 1-800-580-0038.

09\07\08

MEDIA CONTACT: flumedia@gnb.ca; Danielle Phillips, Communications for H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.

09/07/08