Cases of H1N1 (human swine influenza) continue to be reported in Nova Scotia. The province’s first death associated with the virus was confirmed by Capital District Health Authority today, July 24. The female patient was in her fifties with underlying health conditions. “I would like to express my deepest sympathy to family and friends at such a difficult time,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer. “As sad as this news is, it’s important to remember that H1N1 and other flu-like viruses are very serious illnesses.” Cases of H1N1 involving severe illnesses and deaths are being reported in other provinces and outside Canada. “Each year thousands of Canadians die from the flu, and unfortunately we expected to see deaths associated with the H1N1 virus in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Strang. The health care and public health systems continue to anticipate new cases, and are prepared to respond appropriately. “The Department of Health continues to work closely with our health system partners to respond and provide the best care possible to patients as this situation evolves,” said Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician advisor, Department of Health. “As a system, we are continuing to be vigilant and are preparing for more severe cases. Unfortunately, this sad event is a reminder of the severity of H1N1 and flu-like illnesses.” While the number of severe cases of H1N1 is increasing, the majority of H1N1 cases are still behaving like a typical flu-like illness. The total number of cases reported in Nova Scotia since the outbreak started is now 456. Ten people have been hospitalized since April 26. People are reminded that the best way to stay healthy is to take preventative action. That means washing hands thoroughly and often, using an arm to cover coughs and sneezes, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces and items such as doorknobs and counters. If people have influenza-like symptoms they should stay home and minimize contact with family members as much as possible. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician or a walk-in clinic. It is important for Nova Scotians to understand that it is safe to go to work, participate in community activities and to socialize, if they do not have influenza-like symptoms. For more information on H1N1 (human swine influenza), visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp. -30-
The two new Provincial Ministers took oaths before the Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray.Sarveswaran was appointed as the Provincial Minister of Education and Sasitharan as the Provincial Minister of Resettlement and Women Affairs. Northern Provincial Council members Ananthi Sasitharan and K Sarveswaran were today appointed Provincial Ministers.The appointment was made by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to replace two Ministers who had resigned in relation to corruption allegations.