The central zone, which houses Lloydminster, has seen two deaths from the flu in the beginning of 2018.
The AHS statistics taken January 11th show that the number of people hospitalized in the central zone has doubled since the end of 2017, from 49 to 90. So far 1,570 people in Alberta have been put in hospital since the beginning of flu season.
The death toll has also risen to 31 provincewide, with the Calgary zone reporting 16 deaths, 10 in the Edmonton zone, two in the south zone and one in the north.
AHS’ Medical Officer of Health for the Central Zone Doctor Ifeoma Achebe says the this flu season has been particularly aggressive, but there are ways to protect yourself from getting the flu.
“The very first step is to get the flu shot. It’s one of the best protections out there now. Even though it’s not 100 per cent, it’s still the best protection that we have. Other things that people can do is frequent hand washing, for the ones that are sick don’t go out spreading the virus. Cover your cough, cough into your sleeve.”
Achebe adds that while the flu vaccine is not perfect this year, it still offers protection.
“It’s not perfect because humans are only able to predict. Based on what we know this year there’s still some protection, there’s still some benefits. The thing is that the flu shot contains both protection for influenza A and B.”
1,167,858 flu shots have been administered in Alberta since the beginning of flu season, including 105,260 in the central zone.