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New swine flu cases confirmed in N.W.T., Nunavut

Latest cases involve young people, N.W.T. health officer says

Last Updated: Monday, June 1, 2009 | 2:47 PM ET

Health officials in the Northwest Territories confirmed the territory's first case of swine flu, while Nunavut reported three new cases over the weekend.

The Nunavut cases bring the total number of H1N1 influenza infections to four in the territory. The N.W.T. had not reported any swine flu cases until now.

In the N.W.T. case, a Yellowknife youth contracted the virus but has since recovered.

In the Nunavut cases, confirmed on Saturday, the patients have been flown to Yellowknife and admitted to the pediatrics ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

Health officials did not identify the patients, citing privacy concerns. But all the new cases involved young people, said Dr. Kami Kandola, the N.W.T.'s acting chief medical officer.

"None of these cases have travelled outside of Canada, which goes to the shifting pattern of this H1N1 [virus]," Kandola told reporters on Monday.

"Initially, we had the history of contact with Mexico or travelling to Mexico, but what's happened now is we have so many cases in Canada in practically every jursidiction. What we're seeing now is that these cases are being transmitted locally."

Dr. Isaac Sobol, Nunavut's chief medical officer of health, said the officials are ramping up their monitoring of the flu in the territory.

"Now that we have had a few cases identified, I'd like to see a brief period of enhanced surveillance just to see if we pick up any cases which we might not otherwise find," Sobol said.

The extra surveillance will be done on patients at Nunavut hospitals and health centres.

As of Monday afternoon, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported 1,530 lab-confirmed cases of swine flu in nine provinces and all three territories — an increase of 194 cases since Friday.

There have been two deaths related to swine flu in Canada to date, including one in Alberta and one in Ontario.

As the H1N1 influenza virus spreads, Kandola said prevention becomes more important. She urges those who have flu-like symptoms to call the N.W.T.'s Tele-Care Health Line at 1-888-255-1010.

Kandola and Sobol also stressed prevention, asking people to wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick. They should also cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze.

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Swine flu

Swine flu: FAQs
How it's unfolding: a timeline
Isolating the ill: when to quarantine
FAQ: How viruses mutate
Map: Confirmed swine flu cases around the globe
Investigating swine flu: WHO's pandemic alert levels
Did pandemic-watchers miss the signs online?
Video: What the World of Warcraft video game is teaching pandemic experts
Swine flu roots traced to Spanish flu
Will face masks protect you from the flu?
Citizen Bytes: Swine flu: A report from Mexico
Citizen Bytes: Stranded in Mexico: "Canadians, please beware"
Your View: Is the swine flu health alert being overblown?

In Depth

Pandemic preparation: dealing with infectious disease outbreaks
What is a virus?
How viruses mutate
Misconceptions about the flu
Tips for building your immune system
Fighting the flu
The 1918 flu epidemic
CBC Archives: Influenza - Battling the last great virus
CBC Archives: The swine flu fiasco


More than 1,000 swine flu cases worldwide: WHO
May 4, 2009
Chinese officials place Canadian university students in quarantine
May 4, 2009
China bans Alberta pork after virus infects pig herd: media report
May 3, 2009
Swine flu epidemic in decline: Mexico
May 3, 2009
Alberta pigs likely infected with flu from worker: CFIA official
May 2, 2009
No sustained spread of swine flu virus outside North America: WHO
May 2, 2009
WHO prepares for production of new swine flu vaccine
May 1, 2009
Canada doing all that's needed to respond to swine flu: PM
April 30, 2009
WHO boosts pandemic alert level to 5
April 29, 2009
13 swine flu cases confirmed in Canada, all mild
April 28, 2009
Mexican farm swine flu's 'ground zero': residents
April 28, 2009
Several travel companies suspend trips to Mexico
April 28, 2009
Swine flu likely to worsen in Canada, says top health official
April 27, 2009
Canada will monitor, not bar Mexican farm workers
April 27, 2009
Health officials confirm 6 cases of swine flu in Canada
April 26, 2009
India, Malaysia issue travel warnings to Canada over swine flu
April 26, 2009
Swine flu outbreak international 'public health emergency': WHO
April 25, 2009
Canadian lab confirms human swine flu cases in Mexico
April 24, 2009
Travel advisory warns of severe respiratory illness in Mexico
April 23, 2009

Video Interviews

Swine flu reality check with Dr. Michael Gardam with the Ontario Agency for Health Protection (4:25)
May 1, 2009
CBC's Heather Hiscox interviews Dr. Donald Low with the Ontario Public Health Agency (5:41)
April 28, 2009
Brian Ward, infectious disease specialist at McGill University (7:45)
April 26, 2009
Dr. Andrew Simor, director of microbiology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (8:41)
April 26, 2009
Steven Corber, former head of disease prevention programs at Pan American Health Organization
April 26, 2009

External Links

WHO: List of countries with swine influenza A/H1N1
May 3, 2009
Swine influenza page from Centres for Disease Control website
April 29, 2009
The Public Health Agency of Canada's travel warning on Mexico
April 28, 2009
World Health Organization guide: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness And Response
PDF document
Public Health Agency of Canada news release on swine flu
April 26, 2009
Swine influenza: statement by WHO director-general Margaret Chan
April 25, 2009

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A vaccine to prevent diarrhea and vomiting caused by rotavirus should be included in all national immunization programs, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Publisher Elsevier to revise journal sponsorship rules
Elsevier, the publisher of some of the top medical and scientific journals in the world, says it will revise its guidelines on partnering with pharmaceutical companies following controversy over a fake journal.

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