The vast majority of Albertans' minds are on the COVID-19 pandemic and how the virus has impacted the lives of people here, and around the world.
However, the lives of many families have been changed forever by the deaths of loved ones from the seasonal flu.
Statistics released yesterday (Apr. 2) by Alberta Health Services (AHS) show two more Albertans succumbed to influenza this week, bringing the total number of Albertans who have died this season to 38. That's an increase of eight people from the last flu season when 30 people passed away.
In the AHS Calgary Zone, one more person died this week, making the total for this flu season 10. Last year's figure was 11.
This year's flu season has been harder on Albertans in many ways over the previous year. In total, 8,442 people in the province have had a lab-confirmed case of the flu, an increase of more than 2,300 over 2018-2019.
Despite the significant increase in lab-confirmed cases, hospitalization hasn't increased much over last year. During the current flu season, 1,482 Albertans have had to be admitted to hospital, an increase of 91 over last year. The number of people in the Calgary Zone who have had to be taken to the hospital has declined slightly. Last year, 567 had to be hospitalized compared to 551 this year.
In 2018-2019, 1,301,470 Albertans received influenza vaccine. This year 1,428,767 were vaccinated.