H1N1 flu virus update (09/11/13)
Nov. 13, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following update on the H1N1 flu virus has been issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
- New Brunswick is continuing to see widespread H1N1 flu activity.
- There are 68 hospitalizations in the province. This is a cumulative total of hospitalizations since the pandemic began in April.
- There are five cases in the intensive care unit.
- Forty per cent of hospitalizations are in the under-20 age group. The remainder of hospitalized cases are evenly distributed among other age groups.
- There have been no H1N1 flu deaths reported in the province.
- Most cases continue to be mild, and those groups presently being offered the vaccine are those at a higher risk of severe complications.
- As with other Canadian jurisdictions, New Brunswick is anticipating a lower-than-expected supply of H1N1 flu vaccine from the federal government over the next week.
- The priority groups for the H1N1 vaccination are restricted to the following:
- front-line health-care workers;
- children aged six months to 18 years;
- parents of children younger than six months;
- pregnant women;
- adults under 65 with chronic conditions;
- First Nations individuals (on reserve, only).
- This restriction is in place to ensure that the highest priority groups are vaccinated soonest.
- Individuals who are not members of a priority group should wait until clinics for other priority groups and the public open later in November.
- It is very important that everyone work together to protect those most vulnerable.
- By the end of next week, the Regional Health Authorities will have offered vaccine to all pregnant women and all children aged six months to five years who wish to have the
- Starting next week, the immunization program will begin to concentrate on all adults under 65 with chronic conditions.
- Due to the current and temporary shortfall in vaccine supply, those chronic conditions which are causing the highest risk of severe outcomes from the H1N1 virus will be targeted
first. Others will follow during the next few weeks, and as quickly as vaccine supply allows.
- The emphasis for next week will be on adults under 65 years of age with chronic respiratory diseases such as:
- chronic bronchitis;
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); or
- cystic fibrosis.
- Also included in this category are adults under 65 years of age with compromised respiratory function due to a physical, neurological or muscular disorder such as:
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease);
- multiple sclerosis;
- quadriplegia; and
- Adults under 65 with these chronic diseases and conditions are encouraged to check the flu web pages at www.gnb.ca/flu for clinic listings beginning Friday, November 13.
- Immunizing nurses reserve the right to require evidence of active treatment of the disease or conditions, such as a prescription, labelled medication, insurance forms, etc.
- Of the 40,000 doses of vaccine received this week, 19,100 doses were unadjuvanted vaccine. The unadjuvanted vaccine is pending regulatory approval and cannot be used until
the process is complete.
- The unadjuvanted vaccine has been shipped to the province, and is ready to be used as soon as regulatory approval is received.
- While there is some supply, the amount is less than was expected.
- Limited supply of the vaccine will cause the continuing postponement of clinics until more vaccine arrives. The Department of Health has been issuing daily updates on
postponed clinics through its public alerts system. The updates are also available on the web and through the 1-800 line.
- Clinics for all pregnant women have been scheduled in every zone.
- The department encourages all pregnant women in the province to receive the vaccine.
- A new link on vaccine distribution has recently been added to the Public Health Agency of Canada's website.
- Every Thursday, to assist with planning, the Public Health Agency of Canada will provide the provinces and territories with a forecast of the amount of vaccine to be distributed
the following week.
- The figure is based on GlaxoSmithKline's best estimate, to be confirmed following quality assurance checks.
- 146,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered to New Brunswickers
- Due to the number of people being vaccinated, some documented cases of reactions are expected, which is typical.
- Canada has a strong vaccine safety surveillance program in place to report and investigate any serious or unexpected reactions to the vaccine.
- The majority of reactions are minor - such as soreness at the injection site, or a slight fever - but as is the case with any vaccine, there is an extremely small chance that a more
serious reaction can occur.
- Even though a severe reaction is rare, these events are carefully investigated to determine if they are related to the vaccine directly, or if they were caused by an underlying health
condition or some other reason.
- Careful investigation is needed to determine if the events are linked or if they are coincidental. Only a medical investigation, including a review of the person's medical history
and an assessment of environmental factors, can establish whether or not a vaccine caused a reaction.
- Your health-care provider will report any potential serious adverse event to public health authorities.
- New Brunswickers should continue to protect themselves and those around them by washing their 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.
- 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. Persons living in the Saint John area are asked to visit one of the flu assessment centres.
- It is recommended that those with influenza-like symptoms limit contact with other people, including other household members until they are free of symptoms and are feeling
- Those experiencing influenza-like illness should consider ending self-isolation when they are able to participate fully in all of their normal daily activities.
- 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, to participate in activities, and to
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.