July 13, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick now has the capacity to complete all stages of H1N1 flu virus testing at the pandemic lab of the Dr. Georges L. Dumont Regional Hospital in Moncton, the Department of Health announced today.
Previously, samples had to be sent to the national microbiology lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for confirmation of H1N1 typing.
"This means we will have reliable numbers sooner in order to monitor trends in the spread of the virus," said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, deputy chief medical officer of health. "It is important to remember that patients have been receiving and will continue to receive the appropriate treatment right away, without waiting for lab confirmation."
As of noon today, the provincial case count was 33; at the end of June, the total was 10. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary said in May that additional cases and more severe cases were to be expected.
New Brunswickers are reminded 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 have influenza-like symptoms 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.
People who are at high risk of complications from influenza-like illness should seek medical attention promptly. This would include pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, or those with compromised immune systems.
It is important for New Brunswickers to understand that it is safe to go to work and school, participate in activities and to socialize, if they do not have influenza-like symptoms.
Case-count totals for all provinces and territories may be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada's website. More information for New Brunswickers about the H1N1 virus may be found online, or by calling the 24-hour H1N1 flu virus line at 1-800-580-0038.
MEDIA CONTACT: email@example.com; Danielle Phillips, communications for H1N1 pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.