Yukon’s first H1N1 hospitalization confirmed

The Yukon has had its first hospitalization linked to the second wave of the pandemic H1N1 flu. The child was rushed to hospital last week, according to Brendan Hanley, Yukon's medical officer of health.

The Yukon has had its first hospitalization linked to the second wave of the pandemic H1N1 flu.

The child was rushed to hospital last week, according to Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s medical officer of health.

Lab tests have since confirmed that the patient had H1N1.

The child had an underlying chronic condition, said Hanley, but has since been released from hospital.

Unlike normal seasonal flu, the H1N1 strain of the virus seems to be more dangerous for young people.

Two youth have recently died in Canada after contracting the flu, bringing the total number of H1N1 deaths up to at least 88, according to Health Canada.

Different strains of influenza normally result in about 2,000 to 8,000 Canadian deaths each year.

Hanley does not plan to report the number of lab-confirmed cases of H1N1 in the territory, because he believes these numbers do not reflect the actual situation.

Signs of the H1N1 flu are similar to regular influenza, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.

Doctors are urging everyone to go out and get the H1N1 flu vaccination, with a special emphasis on children under five years old and women who are pregnant.

People with chronic conditions such as heart or kidney disease, diabetes, and asthma or chronic lung disease are also strongly urged to get the shot.

After two days, 1,674 swine flu vaccinations have been given out in the territory.

“It’s more than I expected but it kind of makes sense, given the amount of cases both nationally and locally,” said Hanley.

“We’ve done five per cent of the population in two days so I think that’s pretty good.”

Overwhelming interest in the vaccination is causing long waiting times to receive the vaccine. Some Whitehorse residents waited over three hours on Monday night to receive their shots.

“We just don’t have the capacity to go any quicker,” said Hanley.

In Whitehorse, the vaccination can be received all week at the Canada Games Centre from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Golden Horn School will be open today from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Kwanlin Dun Health Centre will be open today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Try to get there early.

For more information see ad on page 16.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com

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