An infant boy and two people in their 70s have died from the H1N1 virus, a health official in London, Ont. announced this week.
Two-month-old Ethan Bailey Desabrais passed away Monday and was healthy before becoming infected, Dr. Graham Pollett, medical officer for the Middlesex-London Health Unit, explained Wednesday.
Officials say it’s important for parents to get immunized. Ethan was too young to receive the vaccine, which can only be given to children six-months and up.
“We do know that babies less than one are the most at risk for hospitalizations, but with our enhanced medical technology they generally are not dying,” revealed Bryna Warshawski, Associate Medical Officer of Health in Middlesex-London.
“But of course there are rare instances like this.”
Health units across Ontario are currently only offering flu shots to high-priority groups and those who care for infants under six months fall within that category.
Ethan’s family members – including his brother and sister – have now been vaccinated.
Click here for information on flu shot clinics across the GTA.
The elderly man and woman who died had multiple underlying medical conditions. One was already in hospital and the other was reportedly admitted with flu-like symptoms.
People over the age of 65 are considered to be at a lower risk of contracting the virus.
The three deaths are the first linked to H1N1 in the London area.
Lab tests confirmed the three had contracted Influenza A. Pollett said while the exact strain is not yet known, he believes H1N1 was responsible for the deaths as it’s currently the only strain circulating across the country.
Test results are expected within the next few days.