H1N1 Suspected in the Death of a Child in the Five Eastern Counties
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, announced today that the H1N1 flu virus is the suspected cause of death in a child living in the five Eastern Counties. The child died at an Ottawa hospital over the weekend.
“We are still awaiting confirmation test results. However, the preliminary test showed positive for influenza A. To date, all recent cases of influenza A have been identified as H1N1 influenza A”, explains Dr. Roumeliotis.
On behalf of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Dr. Roumeliotis extends his deepest sympathies to the family and friends at this difficult time. “It is extremely sad to see the virus claim the life of a child,” says Dr. Roumeliotis.
H1N1 immunization clinics will be starting October 30th in Eastern Ontario for priority groups and will then open to the rest of the population on November 5th. “I strongly encourage everyone to receive the vaccine to protect themselves and their families from this disease,” adds Dr. Roumeliotis.
The five Eastern Counties are currently experiencing increased influenza activity and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit continues to monitor the situation closely.
Important preventive measures for lowering risk of infection
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reminds the public that simple, routine measures can help protect against getting or spreading the infection. Preventive measures for the H1N1 flu virus are the same as for the seasonal flu:
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick, and keep your children home when they’re sick.
- Avoid visiting hospitals or long-term care facilities if you’re unwell.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you’ve been experiencing flu-like symptoms and your condition worsens.
For H1N1 flu virus information and updates, visit www.fightflu.ca. You can also call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or at 1 800 267-7120 and ask for the Health Line.
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