Alberta Health Services has reported a significant increase in confirmed flu cases for the Calgary Zone.
Last week, the amount of confirmed cases of Influenza A was 596, and this week that number has jumped to 922, including the province's first lab confirmed flu death of the season.
Dr. David Strong, Medical Officer of Health for AHS Calgary Zone, says while our zone is seeing higher numbers, it's nothing unusual.
"We started earlier in the Calgary Zone than what we've seen in the rest of the province. I expect they're going to start to catch up as their flu season proceeds, so nothing that we're not really expecting year to year. It's really hard to predict how it's going to go, keep in mind there's various flu strains so what we're seeing now is one particular strain primarily that's circulating."
He adds the Calgary Zone also sees higher numbers due to it being a larger and more densely populated zone.
Influenza may result in death for some individuals with compromised systems.
"Quite often people that actually die from Influenza usually have another underlying condition and the Influenza comes along and can cause an exacerbation of that underlying problem and can lead to death, and that's most often what happens," Strong explains. "Or, someone who is very old and has lots of other health problems or a weak immune system, they are more inclined to have a severe outcome from Influenza."
According to AHS, there's been a total of 1,411 lab confirmed cases of Influenza A and 13 cases of Influenza B in Alberta.
To date, a total of 944,611 flu vaccines have been administered in the province.