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Yukon to 'see another wave'

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  • Yukon to 'see another wave'

    The number of H1N1 influenza infections in the Yukon is declining, but people can still expect another flu wave this winter, says the territory's medical health officer.

    Dr. Brendan Hanley said health officials are still seeing more flu cases than usual for this time of year, as the territory continues dealing with swine flu this fall.

    Upwards of 100 people a day have been going to the emergency ward at Whitehorse General Hospital, with the majority of them complaining of flu-like symptoms, Hanley said Tuesday.

    At last count, more than 17,000 Yukoners, or about half of the territory's population, have received the H1N1 vaccine.

    Hanley noted that the death of an otherwise healthy middle-aged woman in Whitehorse last week should remind people to get vaccinated.
    "She was not one of the 50 per cent of Yukoners who have been vaccinated," he told reporters in Whitehorse.

    "I don't think it's yet enough to say that we're completely protected from influenza, although our levels of influenza have decreased substantially."

    The death of the woman, whose name was not released, is the second flu-related death reported in the Yukon.

    The H1N1 flu vaccine is still available at immunization clinics and health centres across the territory.

    Health officials launched their H1N1 immunization campaign one month ago, offering the vaccine to the general public.

    Hanley said it's not clear for how long the vaccine will be effective, but it will likely last for the duration of the current flu season.