North Bay child dies of H1N1

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

January 20th, 2014

NORTH BAY, ON — Influenza A H1N1 has been confirmed as the cause of death for 16-month-old Evelyne Dagenais at North Bay Regional Health Centre on Friday.
“Based on further testing, we are able to report the child in question is considered a death in a laboratory confirmed case of Influenza A H1N1,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico said. “The cause of death remains under investigation.”

Chirico said there have been 79 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in the North Bay area this year and 927 across the province.

So far this flu season there have been 10 H1N1-related deaths in Alberta, 12 in Saskatchewan and 10 in Ontario.

At a Friday press conference, it was reported Evelyne had exhibited a flu-like respiratory illness and had screened positive for Influenza A.

The Sheffield Steelers, a hockey team in Europe where Dagenais’ father Randy played for three years, issued a statement on its website, accompanied with a photo of Evelyne being kissed by her parents.

“The Steelers send their deepest and most sincere condolences to the Dagenais family at this tragic time,” it read.

“I have known Randy for close to two decades and he is one of my best friends.,” Steelers head coach Doug Christiansen, a former teammate and longtime friend of Dagenais, said in a statement.

“He has lived at my house, stood in my wedding and we have shared the best of times. I was deeply saddened to hear the news and our deepest sympathy goes to the entire Dagenais family.”

The Dagenais family suffered a loss last May when paramedic Dustin Dagenais of Moose Factory, Ont., died when the Ornge air ambulance helicopter he was flying in crashed in a remote area.

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