Northern Health provides update on H1N1 virus

The Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer said he is cautiously optimistic about the H1N1 virus throughout the North.

In a news conference on Thursday, Dr. David Bowering said northern hospitals have not seen an increase of patients as a result of the flu.  Thursday the CDC changed the name of the flu from Swine Flu to H1N1.

However, he said those that normally wouldn’t go to the hospital are getting checked out as a precautionary measure.

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Bowering also provided updates on the Prince George flu case. He said the adult male resident stayed at home until his symptoms increased. He then contacted his doctor for advice. Bowering said this is exactly what concerned people should do.

The Prince George resident is now recovering at home, and his family is staying home to prevent spreading the virus. According to Dr. Bowering, the man was vacationing with his wife in or near Cancun. He said the man’s wife was exhibiting symptoms of the flu at the time of the news conference and her results are still pending.

Bowering said like the rest of Canada, the case is minor compared to Mexico’s.

Meanwhile, Northern Health sent a letter to the School District 60 today, outlining precautionary measures. It recommends the district continue all educational programs and school activities as normal. It also recommends letting students who travelled to Mexico to participate in regular activities. It says it’s the responsibility of travelers to monitor themselves for symptoms.

A Vernon School was closed on Thursday after a child came down with the H1N1 flu, bringing the total of BC cases to 11. Beairsto Elementary will be closed for the next week after the student got sick, but officials say the child has only a mild case of the flu and is at home recovering.

Provincial health officials are urging people not to panic over the illness.

Dr. Bowering said despite the rising numbers, he will remain cautiously optimistic about the state of the flu. He said officials will be working over the summer months to develop a vaccine for the virus.

For Thursday’s original story on the Prince George case, Click Here

Attached is the letter sent from Northern Health to the School District 60.

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