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Sixth swine flu death in BC; outbreak in Yaletown school?

B.C. has reported its sixth death from H1N1, a person on Vancouver Island. Combined with a new death in Ontario, this raises the national total to 78. Meanwhile, H1N1 may have hit a Yaletown elementary school.

Tuesday's information bulletin from the Ministry of Health Services and Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport added a few details:

How many cases of the H1N1 flu virus are there in B.C.?

•Since Sept. 15, there have been four new severe cases of H1N1 identified in B.C., with one new death.

•In total, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has confirmed 52 severe H1N1 cases in British Columbia since April 2009, including:

o Twenty-four in Fraser Health, including three deaths.

o Five in Interior Health, including one death.

o Five in Northern Health.

o Fifteen in Vancouver Coastal Health, including one death.

o Three on Vancouver Island, including one death.

Of these 52 lab-confirmed cases admitted to hospital, 21 have been admitted to the ICU. One new case has been admitted to the ICU in the last week.

To date, six laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases in B.C. are reported to have died. In each case, there were underlying medical conditions.

Meanwhile, News 1130 Radio reported Tuesday night that almost 30 percent of the pupils of Elsie Roy Elementary School in Yaletown were home sick with flu-like symptoms.

The report cited the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, but the VCHA website on Tuesday night offered no confirmation of the report.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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