Five dead from flu-related illness in Sask. since Sept.: SHA
REGINA -- Five people have died from flu-related illnesses in Saskatchewan since September 2019, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
The ministry says three of those people were seniors and two were adults.
There’s been 755 confirmed cases and nine people have been admitted to ICU. The ministry says most people admitted to ICU already have underlying medical conditions.
It is comparable to last flu season, where at this time last year there had been seven flu-related deaths and 14 ICU admissions.
What is different for the 2019-20 season, is the high number of outbreaks of flu in long-term care facilities.
Last year there had been 17 outbreaks by Jan. 12, 2019 but already 30 outbreaks have happened at facilities as of Jan. 17, 2020.
"It’s really important also that we don't visit our loved ones in hospital or long-term care facilities when we ourselves are sick,” Ministry of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.
Dr. Shahab says this season, the strongest strain of influenza is effecting the elderly.
Dr. Shahab adds both strains of A and B, are currently going around. A often effects seniors, while B impacts kids the most. B is expected to be more prominent in the later half of the season.
"It’s really important that parents remember to keep kids that are sick with flu like symptoms home," Shahab said.
"If kids are too sick to come to school then we would just ask that parents let the schools know, so that all the kids are accounted for and we know that everybody is safe," Regina Catholic School Division Media Twylla West said.
The ministry says it has seen an increase in the number of people getting vaccinated, and both strains are covered by the vaccine.
The ministry says the flu season is expected to last about four to six more weeks in Saskatchewan and there are still flu vaccinations available.