H1N1 flu surge in B.C. Lower Mainland lands people in ICUs

Monday, January 6, 2014
By Paul Martin

Officials say as many as 20 people are in intensive care and 1 person may have died from H1N1

Jan 05, 2014

At least 20 people in B.C. are in intensive care, some of them on ventilators, because of the H1N1 flu virus, according to the chief medical officer for a B.C. Lower Mainland health authority.

Dr. Paul Van Buynder, with Fraser Health, said Friday that 15 patients, many of them otherwise healthy, young people, were recently admitted to intensive care units in hospitals in the region. By Sunday he added five more to the total for those in intensive care in B.C., where at least 40 people have been hospitalized due to H1N1 influenza this season.

“It is a lot for us at this particular time, especially because there is not a lot of circulating disease in the community at this point, and so we’re worried that this has happened to so many people so quickly,” he said.

He said the ages of the patients turning up with H1N1 flu span the spectrum, and include those in their 30s. He also said at least one of the patients is pregnant, and also that one person may have died from this flu strain.

“I have one person who hasn’t been confirmed, but I’m pretty sure did pass away from this,” Van Buynder told CBC News.

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