Swine flu strikes two more Yukoners

Two new cases of the swine flu virus have hit the Yukon, bringing the total number of cases to three. An adolescent male and a middle-aged female were discovered to have the H1N1 virus on Wednesday.

Two new cases of the swine flu virus have hit the Yukon, bringing the total number of cases to three.

An adolescent male and a middle-aged female were discovered to have the H1N1 virus on Wednesday.

Neither individual has been hospitalized and both are recovering at home.

The two cases are a result of “second-generation” travelling; both individuals came in contact with a person who contracted the H1N1 virus while abroad.

This troubles Yukon medical officer of health Brendan Hanley, who explains that these two cases demonstrate a community-related spread of the disease rather than a travel-related spread.

“This implies there will be further transmission,” he said.

Hanley can’t reveal where the two cases were discovered. But people all around the Yukon should be on guard, he said.

“If people are feeling flu-like symptoms then they should go into self-isolation,” said Hanley.

“If people’s symptoms aren’t improving then they should seek medical advice.”

The disease has been hitting younger generations of people harder, an effect that is typical of new viruses, he said.

“Older people have exposure to previous influenza viruses and younger people don’t,” said Hanley.

“Younger people have hyperactive immune systems that may act up more.”

More severe cases of the virus have been noticed among younger people even though there is a higher proportion of older people getting the disease, he said.

There are still no vaccines on the market to protect people from the H1N1 virus.

Canada expects to have a stockpile of these ready for flu season, when it hits in the fall.

Globally, 800 people have died from swine flu in the past four months, according to statistics from the World Health Organization. (Vivian Belik)