Edmonton-area girl among six new Alberta swine flu cases

 

 
 
 
 
Dr. Andre Corriveau, right, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, give an update on cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Edmonton, May 04, 2009.
 
 

Dr. Andre Corriveau, right, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, give an update on cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Edmonton, May 04, 2009.

Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON — Six new human cases of the H1N1 flu virus have been discovered in Alberta, including one young girl who has been in an Edmonton hospital for four days.

The girl is believed to be the first patient in Canada to be hospitalized by the outbreak that began in Mexico.

So far, investigators haven’t been able to find any connection between the Edmonton-area girl and Mexico, but are still looking. Authorities will not say whether the girl is school-age because of privacy reasons. However, “we’re not anticipating any closure of schools,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services.

The girl was in stable condition at last check, said Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta's chief medical officer of health.

She was hospitalized on April 30.

The other five new cases are all young adults, including three in central Alberta and two in Calgary. There have now been 24 H1N1 cases in the province, although Corriveau said only a fraction of those are still active.

On the weekend, China banned pork imports from Alberta after it was discovered a farm worker transmitted the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, to a herd of pigs, in what is believed to be the first instance of human-to-pig transmission of H1N1. The worker was a carpenter who returned from Mexico on April 12 after helping to build a church there. He was working on the barn on April 14 and was so sick that he had to go home that day, said Gerald Hauer, chief provincial veterinarian for Alberta.

The central Alberta herd that was infected is under quarantine. Both the worker and the sick animals are recovering, but the pork industry is reeling as other countries take the opportunity to ban Canadian pork products.

"This is not a food-safety issue. It is a human health issue," said Herman Simons, chairman of Alberta Pork.

Simons urged Alberta's producers Monday to closely follow their current bio-security measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Those measures include showering before and after interacting with pigs, keeping barns locked, keeping people with influenza-like symptoms away from the animals, contacting a veterinarian promptly if animals display influenza-like symptoms, and refraining from visiting a barn within 72 hours of visiting another.

bgelinas@thejournal.canwest.com

rcormier@thejournal.canwest.com

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dr. Andre Corriveau, right, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, give an update on cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Edmonton, May 04, 2009.
 

Dr. Andre Corriveau, right, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, give an update on cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Edmonton, May 04, 2009.

Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

 
Dr. Andre Corriveau, right, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, give an update on cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Edmonton, May 04, 2009.
Director of PrimerDesign Ltd. Jim Wicks prepares a sample as the company works against the clock to produce the world's first DNA test for the Mexican strain f swine flu, officially known as influenza A, at the company laboratory in Southampton on May 2, 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Moira
 
May 05, 2009 - 2:42 PM
 
 Sometimes, one of the main resons these things are spreading is because people aren't taking it seriously; people in my school who just came back from mexico think its funny to cough and hack all over people, but people don't understand that it is contageous for a few days before sickness actually comes--and by then the entire school could have caught the virus.
   
 
Nicole
 
May 05, 2009 - 1:18 PM
 
 

MARK -The case wasn't reported until 4 days later because it takes time to determine whether or not she actually had H1N1. Since she had not been in contact with anyone who had been in Mexico, there was no reason to jump to a conclusion of H1N1 right away.  Officials are not going to go running to the media every time someone his admitted to the hospital and cause more panic. They did the right thing by waiting for confirmation before reporting it.

   
 
Lisa
 
May 05, 2009 - 9:33 AM
 
 Why is it our government is so stupid as to not QUARANTINE EVERY FLIGHT that landed from Mexico? I mean every time these foreign countries have an outbreak, the "officials" seem to not do the most obvious thing, QUARANTINE. I also DO NOT get how people keep coughing, sneezing and blowing their disgusting GERMS all over everyone. Come on do it into YOUR ARM sleeve!!!!! Common sense and decency.
   
 
Kathryn
 
May 05, 2009 - 9:24 AM
 
 I agree with Jess. The meda has blown this flu way out of proportion when many Canadian health organizations have called this flu no worse than the regular influenza. I'm part of a music group at our school that plans to go to Toronto in a week-- if the school cancels it because of a stupid 'pandemic,' I am going to be one unhappy student!
   
 
Jennifer
 
May 05, 2009 - 9:17 AM
 
 Those of you who are dismissing people's fears and suggesting that the simple solution is handwashing, obviously don't have young children in a daycare setting. I agree that good hand hygiene etc is an important practice but it's literally impossible to impose with a two year old. Peoples fears are reasonable. Let's not sounds so arrogant about things people. Most of the parents don't actually fear for themselves. They fear for their children.
   
 
Craig
 
May 04, 2009 - 11:26 PM
 
 Nice,,privacy,,stage five pandemic,,and these fools are talking about privacy,,,,when are politicians or these flunkies going to stop hiding behind these phony semantics and become honest?
   
 
mini
 
May 04, 2009 - 10:28 PM
 
 For goodness sake people if you come down with any contagious disease ... when you are sick STAY AT HOME!! Don't bring your sickness to work and make everyone else sick...it costs your employer a whole lot of money in sick time and decreased productivity and takes you much longer to get over what ever you have!
   
 
Albrrrta
 
May 04, 2009 - 9:51 PM
 
 Marie; do you think maybe they pulled all the pork??? These guys are being too quiet. Secrecy does NOTHING to instill confidence. I wouldn't trust Liepert and his underpaid mouthpiece. He was looking for a deal when he fired the last cheif medical officer. They got rid of Lorne Gibson because they couldn't shut him up and Fred Dunne's days are probably numbered too. This Government is shaping up to be the most secretive EVER.
   
 
Marie
 
May 04, 2009 - 8:04 PM
 
 I was in Superstore yesterday looking for ham steaks - they didn't have any. I then looked for pork cutlets to make vienna schnitzel, they didn't have any. People are buying pork!
   
 
Leo
 
May 04, 2009 - 7:21 PM
 
 It's non sense to blame China on banning the Alberta pork. We Albertans refused to eat the infected pork from Alberta (see the piles of unsold pork in Superstor). Why shall we get China to import the infectd pork in Alberta? Though the ban could add much burden to our fragile employment insurance system in the bad time.
   
 
greg
 
May 04, 2009 - 5:28 PM
 
 what hospital?
   
 
Mark
 
May 04, 2009 - 5:14 PM
 
 Mike, you're right, there is no reason to withhold the age of the girl for "privacy reasons." I think the fact that they are withholding the girl's age and the fact that we haven't heard about this hospitalization until four days after it occurred seriously undermines public trust in our health officials, and at exactly the wrong time.
   
 
Ed
 
May 04, 2009 - 5:06 PM
 
 Just to remind everyone that there are more children being killed and severely injured by MVC, ATV, tramopline, street drugs, alcohol, violence....etc than the H1N1 influenza A virus. To help stop the spread of any communicable disease, just remember good hygiene practice!
   
 
D W
 
May 04, 2009 - 3:51 PM
 
 I thought the media was supposed to stop calling it the Swine Flu...
   
 
Lim
 
May 04, 2009 - 3:45 PM
 
 Jess, please don't tell people that handwashing and using disinfectants will not prevent viral infections. Since influenza is an enveloped virus, it is more susceptible to things like detergents and alcohols. Bleach is highly effective against influenza virus for sanitation purposes. You are right though, handwashing prevents spread of infection, not necessarily the death of the virus.
   
 
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