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BC reports 5 new H1N1 deaths but peak may be over

Both hospitalizations for H1N1, and deaths from the disease, rose in B.C. this past week, according to today's weekly update from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. But the numbers are lower than for the previous week.

According to the B.C. CDC Surveillance Update for November 16, 144 new H1N1 hospitalizations were reported as of yesterday, for a total of 755. The total as of November 9 had been 611.

In addition, five deaths were reported: two in the Interior Health Authority, and one each in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser, and Vancouver Island. They have raised the provincial total to 30.

The update says persons with at least one underlying medical condition made up 63.1% of hospitalized H1N1 cases, 75.7% of cases admitted to intensive care, and 88% of deaths. The median age of those dying of the disease is 46.

The number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions fell this past week to about 140, a sharp drop from the 200 reported the previous week. As well, the five deaths represent a drop from the eight reported on November 10.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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