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Health Unit Confirms Death of

Local Individual from Flu

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has confirmed the death of an area resident who had the flu.

The individual, who was an adult under the age of 65 years, did not have any underlying medical conditions and was not immunized against the flu this year. The individual was hospitalized with the flu, but later died in hospital.

“We can sometimes become complacent about influenza, but the truth is that people still die every year from the flu,” says Anne Marie Holt, Manager, Communicable Disease Control with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

The predominant strain of influenza both provincially and locally to date is H1N1. While influenza generally affects older adults, the H1N1 strain frequently causes serious illness in younger people as well. Children under five years of age already face a high risk of becoming ill from influenza, but may be even more vulnerable to the H1N1 strain as they were not exposed to this flu strain that first circulated during the 2009/2010 flu season.

As of today (January 3), the Health Unit has received lab-confirmed reports of 16 influenza cases, in individuals ranging in age from four years to 87 years. Of those 16 cases, 11 individuals are under the age of 50 years. While the immunization history of all the cases is not known, Holt confirms that at least six of the individuals have not been immunized against the flu.

The Health Unit is offering two special clinics specifically geared to families with children between the ages of six months and five years of age. Appointments are necessary and will be provided first to families with young children.

  • In Lindsay on Thursday, January 9, from 1 to 3 pm at the Health Unit office (108 Angeline Street South). Call the Health Unit’s Lindsay office at (705) 324-3569 or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 to book an appointment.

  • In Port Hope on Tuesday, January 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the Health Unit office (200 Rose Glen Road). Call the Health Unit office in Port Hope at (905) 885-9100 or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 to book an appointment.

There are still plenty of other opportunities for area residents to be immunized against the flu. Anyone over five years of age can get the flu shot at any pharmacy offering the flu shot and a full list of participating pharmacies can be found on the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca. Residents can also contact their health care provider for the flu shot.

“This year, there is an excellent match between the flu vaccine and the H1N1 strain of influenza now circulating, so it is even more important to get a flu shot,” Holt says.

For more information on the flu, visit the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca

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For media inquiries, contact:

Anne Marie Holt, Manager, Communicable Disease Control, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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