One person with the flu has died in the Calgary area, Alberta Health Services said Thursday.
It’s the first reported death of someone with lab-confirmed influenza in the 2016-17 flu season.
READ MORE: Calgary hit hard this flu season
An AHS spokesperson said they would not release the person’s gender and age due to privacy concerns.
The patient died on or before Nov. 26 after being hospitalized with the flu diagnosis, AHS said.
Calgary has been hit harder than Alberta’s capital city this year: there were 245 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A and three of influenza B in Calgary, compared to just 24 cases of influenza A and four of influenza B in Edmonton as of Nov. 26, AHS said Thursday.
Eighty people had been admitted to hospital with the flu in Calgary, compared to just 12 in Edmonton.
Watch below from Nov. 25: The flu is hitting Alberta hard this year and the number of people sick is much higher now than the same time last year. As Kim Smith explains, most of the confirmed cases are in Calgary.
According to Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services, the virus hit the Calgary region first this year before spreading elsewhere.
“When influenza hits the province, it starts in one part and then spreads from there,” Predy said in a past interview.
The massive spike in Calgary means pharmacists are fielding more questions about the vaccine.
One of the most common questions, according to pharmacist Kaylyn Bassett, is whether a person can get sick from the flu vaccine.
“What people have told me is, ‘Well, you know a week later after getting the flu shot, I got the flu.’ That is a total coincidence,” Bassett said.
“Keep in mind that it can take about two weeks for the flu shot to actually become effective. So make sure you get it early.”
With files from Global’s Kim Smith