H1N1 flu virus update (09/10/30)
Oct. 30, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following update on the H1N1 flu virus was issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick on Friday, Oct. 30.
- Canada is experiencing a second wave of pandemic influenza activity.
- During the past week, New Brunswick has seen a significant increase in activity, which is now widespread across the province.
- The majority of those affected have been children.
- Nearly all cases have been mild. We have seen some school absenteeism, but most children are well enough to go back to school within a few days. A smaller number are having
cough and fever for four-to-five days before being able to go back.
- We are not seeing much severe disease. We have had one new hospitalization due to H1N1 in the province this week. The case is a male in the 10-19 age range.
- There have been no H1N1 deaths reported in the province.
- We are aware that some schools in the province are closing for short periods of time due to operational considerations, not public health concerns.
- We encourage children and staff who are well to attend school.
- The H1N1 vaccine clinics will run throughout November and December. The government has purchased enough vaccine for every New Brunswicker who chooses to be
- We encourage New Brunswick residents to read clinic information and more information about the H1N1 flu virus and its symptoms by vising the flu website, www.gnb.ca/flu,
or by calling toll-free, 1-800-580-0038, which is available 24/7.
- The information, including dates, times, locations, and eligible groups for H1N1 clinics, is available by region through the website or the toll-free number. The clinic listings will
be updated continually over the course of the H1N1 vaccination program.
- We have had an extraordinarily positive response to the first week of our vaccine program.
- This is good because it will contribute to overall immunity levels in the population, and this means that there will be fewer people contracting and spreading the virus.
- We know that people have had to deal with long waits, and changed schedules.
- We appreciate the patience and co-operation of the people of New Brunswick as we work as fast as we can to protect our population.
- We will need to adjust our schedules according to the amount of vaccine we have to work with.
- Like other Canadian jurisdictions, New Brunswick is anticipating a lower-than-expected supply of H1N1 flu vaccine shipped from the federal government over the next week.
- This reduced vaccine availability is because the vaccine manufacturer had dedicated a production line to produce unadjuvanted vaccine.
- A number of previously scheduled clinics have been cancelled and will be rescheduled once details of the next federal shipment are known.
- Over the next week we will be focusing in a much more concerted way to ensure that priority groups, particularly children, are getting vaccinated.
- We are aware that heavy demand for information may occasionally cause longer wait times than usual on the toll-free line. Extensive improvements continue to be made.
- Tamiflu, one of the antivirals used to treat H1N1, is available at community pharmacies throughout New Brunswick for those who have a doctor's prescription.
- New Brunswickers should continue to protect themselves and those around them by washing hands thoroughly and often, coughing or sneezing into sleeves, staying home if sick,
and keeping common surfaces clean.
- Persons 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, chronic lung conditions, or those with compromised immune systems.
- Persons with influenza-like symptoms should stay home and minimize contact with family members as much as possible. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician
or nurse-practitioner, a walk-in clinic, or the nearest hospital emergency department.
- It is recommended that sick people limit contact with other people until they are free of symptoms and they are feeling well.
- It is important for New Brunswickers to understand that if they do not have influenza-like symptoms, they may continue to go to work and school as usual, to participate in
activities, and to socialize.
More information on the H1N1 flu virus may be found online, or by calling the 24-hour H1N1 line, 1-800-580-0038.
MEDIA CONTACT: email@example.com; Danielle Phillips, media relations, H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.