Young B.C. woman dies from Swine Flu, 11 hospitalized in one week
VICTORIA, B.C. – A young woman from the B.C. interior has died from Swine Flu to take the total of deaths in the province to seven.
11 more people have been sent to hospitals in B.C. in one week with severe Swine Flu infections. B.C. has now hospitalized 64 people. including many in ICU, since the start of the pandemic.
“I can confirm a death. A young woman from the interior with underlying risk condition,” said B.C.’s Chief Health officer Dr. Perry Kendall, but he provided no additional information about the young woman.
Authorities now believe the flu is widespread within B.C. and around the globe and any available numbers are a gross underestimation of the extent of the global pandemic.
At the same time, B.C. is to announce a program of vaccination for pneumonia, after determining that co-infections are responsible for around 30 per cent of deaths from Swine Flu. The finding comes from a study conducted by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control from post-mortem examinations that demonstrated nearly 30 per cent of the fatalities were likely caused by co-infection.
“Usually the term co-infected refers to an infection with a second pathogen (but that causes disease), and with influenza, secondary bacterial pneumonia due to staphylococci or streptococci is a recognized complication,” said Dr. Monika Naus, the director immunization program at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
“That is why pneumococcal vaccine for high risk individuals is recommended in advance of pandemics, as part of preparedness,” she said.
It is now expected that seniors who are in line for seasonal flu vaccination will also be advised to take pneumococcal vaccine at the same time to stop the possibility of co-infection.
A B.C. government statement said: “At this time, confirmed and probable case counts represent a significant underestimation of the true number of novel H1N1 flu cases in BC and elsewhere in Canada and around the world.”
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