Alberta hasn't detected a single flu case in the entire province this season

Jan 28 2021, 4:35 pm

Public health measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 are having a welcome side effect in Alberta: they’ve made it nearly impossible for seasonal influenza to circulate.

Alberta hasn’t detected a single lab-confirmed case of influenza in the entire province this season, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said at her Thursday news conference.

“This is a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of so many,” she said. “Public health measures have truly stopped seasonal influenza in its tracks.”

This time last year, Alberta’s labs had confirmed 470 cases of seasonal flu. This year they’ve found zero, despite a 300% increase in testing.

“It underscores the difference between these two viruses, and how dangerous COVID-19 truly is,” Hinshaw said.

In just 11 months, COVID-19 has taken more lives than 10 years of influenza infections in Alberta. In less than a year, five times more people have been admitted to hospital for COVID-19 than last year’s flu season.

“COVID-19 is unlike any virus we have faced in a hundred years,” Hinshaw said, urging Albertans to keep following public health measures.

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