Flu shots encouraged as H1N1 arrives in Quebec

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
By Paul Martin

Health minister advises vaccinations as 40 cases of H1N1 hit Eastern Townships

Jan 07, 2014

Flu season is here and Quebec’s health minister is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already.

Forty cases of the H1N1 strain of influenza were reported in the Eastern Townships already and flu season is expected to hit its peak at the end of January or early February.

H1N1 is covered in this year’s flu vaccine. However, those vaccinated against H1N1 in 2009 are strongly encouraged to get a new shot with the updated vaccine, which addresses mutations in the virus.

Quebec Health Minister Réjean Hébert said this year’s strain of H1N1 is not more severe or virulent, but it is a virus that everyone should take very seriously.

“It is an important disease that can be fatal,” he told CBC Montreal Daybreak host Mike Finnerty Tuesday morning.

A recent outbreak of H1N1 in Alberta has killed 10 people so far and at least 960 cases of infection have been reported. About 300 people have been hospitalized.

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