Quebec says it has diagnosed eight75 cases of a new, rapid-acting form of the flu virus in the province.
Infectious disease experts say the record level of cases should not be cause for panic, and that flu season has not started out as bad as last year’s.
Most of the patients have cases of the H1N1 virus, which also circulates among the elderly and has been linked to the 2009 pandemic.
The Nova Scotia government reported on Friday night that there have been two deaths in the province this flu season, the province’s first fatalities since 2014.
A decade ago, the H1N1 flu killed 700 to 1,000 people, the province said.
There have been more than 60 hospitalizations in Quebec from the H1N1 flu.
“The extremely high number of laboratory-confirmed influenza-like-illness cases of this season do not cause alarm,” said Hélène Laverdière, Quebec’s Health Minister.
“Early detection and preventive measures are what we need to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the cases in 2006-07 and 2009-10.”
Friday’s alerting note came as the World Health Organization is meeting on Friday to assess the status of the flu season.