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BC records 8 new H1N1 deaths

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports a sharp increase in H1N1 deaths in the past week. Eight persons died of influenza between November 2 and 9, bringing the provincial total to 23.

The November 9 Surveillance Update reports 202 new confirmed H1N1 cases, an increase of 50 percent over the 399 cases recorded between the start of the pandemic and November 9. The new total is 601.

The new deaths included three in Vancouver Coastal Health, two in Fraser Health, and three on Vancouver Island.

Of the 601 hospitalized cases, 46 percent were women admitted to intensive care units, and 52.2 percent died. Aboriginals comprised 5.6 percent of hospitalizations and 4.3 percent of deaths. Four out of five deaths were of patients with at least one underlying medical condition, not including pregnancy. This implies an increase in the number of otherwise healthy British Columbians who have died of H1N1.

While the number of hospitalizations, ICU cases, and deaths all rose in the past week, the number of H1N1 laboratory detections fell slightly.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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