Influenza virus claims first Edmonton patient in 2017, cases triple since last year

This year’s influenza virus has claimed its first patient in Edmonton, according to Alberta Health Services.

Edmonton has seen 167 cases of influenza in 2017. Alberta as a whole has had 1,147 – a large increase compared to 2016’s 374.

An infectious disease specialist says this year’s vaccine is not getting the job done.

“They did observe in Australia that the vaccine didn’t work very well,” Dr. Neil Rau said. “It protected only 10 per cent of people and that’s even worse than the usual rate of protection, which is usually 40 to 50 per cent in a good year.”

There have been five deaths in total across the province – four more than last year.


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