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Flu Strikes Late - Child Succumbs

by Ann Samuel on  February 10, 2007 at 2:45 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Flu Strikes Late - Child Succumbs
A child of seven years has succumbed to the flu, in British Columbia.

The flu season seems to have arrived late as it usually peaks in the months of December and January.
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This unusually long delay may be due to milder winters, say experts.

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According to Dr. Theresa Tam of the Public Health Agency of Canada, in an average year, about 4,000 Canadians die because of influenza and in a bad year that can go up to six to eight thousand.

Most people who die of the flu are the elderly, but children occasionally do succumb. Those who are vulnerable include pregnant women, infants, elders and those with compromised immune systems.

Two strains, influenza A and B have tightened their grip on Vancouver Island. Of the 27 new reports of flu across the country, 17 are in British Columbia.

The so-called Hong Kong flu, caused by strain subtype H3N2 tends to cause the most severe symptoms in patients.

Schools are now asking parents to keep their children at home if they are showing flu symptoms such as high fevers, coughing, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

'I think we were actually wondering whether we were going to miss the influenza bullet this year, but unfortunately we haven't,' says Dr. Murray Fyfe, medical health officer with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Doctors say it's not too late to get a flu shot, which will provide protection within 10 days and last until the end of flu season in March.

Vaccinations are free to those 65 years and older as well as for children and adults with chronic health conditions, their household contacts, health care workers, nursing home and other chronic care staff members, pregnant women in their third trimester and babies between the ages of six and 23 months. Those who work with live poultry or pigs are also eligible.

Meanwhile, the second annual wild bird survey of Canada has shown no signs of the dangerous H5N1 strain of avian flu according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The agency tested more than 12,000 birds from across the country, as well as taking samples from Iceland, where European and North American birds mingle.

Source: Medindia
ANN
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