Loading articles...

H1N1 virus kills 2 in Toronto

A woman gets the flu shot in Toronto in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

The H1N1 virus which triggered panic and vaccine shortages in Toronto five years ago has resurfaced, killing two people in the city.

According to Toronto Public Health, six have died of the flu, two of which died of H1N1 since the flu season began in September.

TPH says of the 210 confirmed cases of the flu so far this season, 36 per cent were H1N1 — also known as swine flu.

By comparison, only three per cent of the flu cases during the same period last year were H1N1.

“At this point last flu season there were more than twice as many flu cases as we have this season. But at this point in last year … there were fewer H1N1 cases,” said the TPH’s Kris Scheuer said in an email.

“It is hard to predict what kind of flu season this one will be.”

Albertans have been rushing to get the flu shot after a spike in H1N1 cases there, and Toronto health officials are encouraging people here to also get vaccinated.

This season’s flu vaccine contains a strain to protect against H1N1.

Newly released data from researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control suggests children under five are the most vulnerable when it comes to this family of flu viruses.

A Harris-Decima poll found about 41 per cent of Canadians said they got a flu shot last year and 44 per cent have either had a shot already (33 per cent) or intend to get one this season.

Flu clinics

People can book an appointment online or just show up at the TPH’s flu clinics.

Click here for a schedule.

People can also get the flu shot from more than 350 pharmacists in the city or their family doctor.

With files from The Canadian Press