H1N1 Virus Gains Foothold in Valley
Over a dozen on
ventilators says CMHO Buyander
Released by Fraser Health/Voice file photo CMHO
Dr. Paul Buyander
Health's Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder, is advising
anyone who has not already had their flu shot to do so in light of increased
influenza cases across the health region.
Over the last two weeks Fraser Health has seen several sever cases of the
H1N1 strain which mirrors the pattern seen in Alberta, Ontario and Texas
There are currently over a dozen ventilated patients with the H1N1 disease
in intensive care units across the health region. These patients are not the
very elderly but are adults across the age spectrum, some in their early
Thirties. There are also patients who are pregnant, and others who suffer
from chronic illnesses.
"We are seeing small pockets of very severe disease," says Dr. Van Buynder.
"The care available to patients through the support of our intensive care
staff is exceptional and I am expecting all those presently on ventilators
to eventually recover. If you received the 2013 influenza vaccine, you are
immunized against the H1N1 strain currently circulating in our community. We
are urging those who have not already had their flu shot to get one. It is
not too late."
Beginning Dec. 2, 2013, the provincial Influenza Control Policy came into
effect. In addition to health care workers, anyone visiting someone in a
health-care facility will be expected to have been vaccinated or wear a mask
to help protect those most vulnerable this influenza season.
Flu shots are offered free of charge in B.C. to a number of individuals,
including children, seniors, pregnant women, Aboriginal people, individuals
with chronic health conditions, and those who work or come in close contact
with higher-risk groups.
The influenza vaccine is safe and effective at preventing illness when used
in conjunction with other infection control practices, such as hand washing
and remaining at home when sick.
For more information about influenza and vaccination clinics, go to:
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice