H1N1 Summary, Nov. 22 to Nov. 28

Health (To Jan. 11)/Health Promotion and Protection (To Jan. 11)

December 2, 2009 2:08 PM

Nova Scotia continues to experience H1N1 activity across the province.

Since the beginning of the 2009-10 influenza season, which runs from September 2009 to September 2010, the province has had:
-- 739 lab-confirmed H1N1 cases
-- 255 hospitalizations for H1N1
-- five H1N1-related deaths

For the week of Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, there were eight new hospitalizations of people with lab-confirmed H1N1.

"Even though it is decreasing, H1N1 activity continues to be seen in Nova Scotia," said Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer. "Since everyone is at some risk of getting H1N1, I cannot stress enough the need to get vaccinated. Vaccination is safe, effective and the best line of defence."

A sixth death during the second wave of H1N1 was also confirmed today, Dec. 2, by the Department of Health Promotion and Protection. This number will be reflected in next week's report.

The Capital Health District reported the death of the female patient who was in her mid-40s and had underlying medical conditions.

"I would like to extend my sympathy the individual's family and friends," said Dr. Strang. "It serves as a reminder that H1N1 is a serious disease and the importance of getting vaccinated."

Seven people with H1N1 have died in the province since July.

Other highlights include:
-- The percentage of emergency room visits with influenza-like illness has decreased to 10 per cent, down five per cent from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21.
-- The percentage of patients with influenza-like illness has increased to eight per cent from four per cent, as reported by physicians around the province.
-- As of Nov. 28, the province has distributed enough vaccine to immunize 38.6 per cent of the population.

The province publishes a report on respiratory illnesses, including H1N1, every Wednesday. It can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/h1n1/flu-activity.asp .

Many doctors' offices and clinics across the province are also experiencing a high volume of requests for sick notes from employers.

"With H1N1 still circulating and the vaccine program underway, doctors' offices and clinics are busy right now," said Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician advisor with the Department of Health. "To ensure doctors are able to focus their efforts on caring for people who are sick as well as offering the vaccine, I encourage employers not to require sick notes from employees who are experiencing flu-like illness at this time and, as well, to allow employees to take time to get vaccinated."

Healthlink 811, Nova Scotia's 24-hour telecare service, continues to experience a high volume of calls, with more than 10,000 calls for the week of Nov. 22-28. The website, www.nshealthlink811.ca , had more than 1,800 visits.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia continues to see an increase of H1N1 activity

across the province.

     Since the beginning of the 2009-2010 influenza season, the

province has had 739 lab-confirmed cases, 255 hospitalizations

and five H1N1-related deaths.

     As of November 28th, the province has distributed enough

vaccine to immunize 38 point six per cent of the population.

     Chief public health officer Dr. Robert Strang says even

though it is decreasing, H1N1 activity continues to be seen in

Nova Scotia and he cannot stress enough the need to get

vaccinated.

     A sixth death during the second wave of H1N1 was confirmed

today (December 2nd) by the Department of Health Promotion and

Protection.

     The Capital Health District reported the death of a female

patient in her mid-40s who had underlying medical conditions.

     Seven people with H1N1 have died in the province since July.

     To ensure doctors are able to focus their efforts on caring

for the sick, Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician advisor for the

Department of Health, encourages employers not to require sick

notes from employees with flu-like illness.

The province publishes a report on respiratory illnesses,

including H1N1, every Wednesday. It can be found at W-W-W dot gov

dot N-S dot C-A slash H-1-N-1 .

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