LETHBRIDGE - Alberta Health Services has begun providing weekly updates on the 2017/2018 flu season to make sure the public is aware of the number of cases and where they occur.
The data included in each report, will be posted online each Thursday through March 2018.
Dr. Gerry Predy, AHS' Senior Medical Officer of Health, says it's important to remember that the data captured weekly is only a fraction of the influenza activity that is actually impacting people across the province.
"Not all cases of influenza are lab-confirmed, and not all cases require hospitalization; however, by by consistently sharing the influenza disease information that we do capture, we are still enduring Albertans understand the stark reality of influenza."
So far this year, 424,101 Albertans have been immunized, including 36,272 in the south zone.
90 people have been hospitalized, including eight in the south zone, and there have been three deaths in the province, one of which occured in the south zone as well.
AHS has 1.6 million doses of the vaccine this year, or enough to cover 35 per cent of the population. Four strains are covered this year, including two "A" and two "B" type strains.
So far, there have been 257 lab-confimed cases of the "A" type strains, and 31 cases of the "B" type strain.
The vaccine, according to AHS is anywhere from 40 to 50 per cent effective, but the health authority says it's better to have some protection, than none at all.
The flu vaccine is available free of charge to all Albertans over the age of 6 months.
For weekly reports, go to http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza/influenza.aspx , and click on the "Influenza Data" tab near the bottom of the page.
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