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Friday, December 3, 2010

Canada : Fatal flu hits northern Manitoba

An article from The Globe and Mail :

" Native leaders in northern Manitoba fear they may be in grip of a lethal influenza outbreak.

One person died last week on a northern reserve in which Influenza A was a factor, according to Joel Kettner, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. Tests are being conducted on other cases, he said. The virus H1N1 is one of a number of influenza viruses within that strain.

“We are very interested and concerned about the situation, and are watching it very closely,” Dr. Kettner said Thursday evening.

David Harper, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents most northern Manitoba first nations, said there have been two recent deaths and a third person is very ill. He fears influenza may be a factor in all three cases, and in the illnesses of others.

Both victims were members of Garden Hill first nation, according to David McDougall, chief of nearby St. Theresa Point. “We heard about it and our community is now on alert for extreme cases of flu,” he said, though he added so far the community had been spared."

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