There are still no confirmed cases of seasonal inflluenza in Alberta according to AHS communications rep Shelly Willsey.
In an e-mailed response to questions on Feb. 22, Willsey said “it is not accurate to compare season-to-season until the end of this season,” but noted at this point in the season last year there had been 5,936 cases of influenza confirmed by the provincial laboratory.
According to the data available on the Alberta Health Services website, in the past five years there were an average of 6,685 lab-confirmed cases of seasonal flu in Alberta, with an average of 1,864 people being hospitalized and 57 killed by the disease.
“We know that influenza hits at different times in the season, each season. This is why it is not accurate to suggest a direct comparison until each season is over, as every season is different,” said Willsey.
She said Alberta Precision Laboratories tested 95,327 respiratory swabs for influenza between Aug. 23, 2020 and Feb. 13, 2021.
According to the AHS website, as of Feb. 13 there were 1,554,581 doses of influenza vaccine administered in Alberta during the 2020/2021 flu season. That includes 123,820 doses in the North Zone since Sept. 27.
In the 2019/2020 flu season, there were a total of 1,438,866 doses administered in Alberta and 107,352 in the North Zone.