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H1N1 virus claims fifth victim in New Brunswick, more than 600 cases reported

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    Digital writers

    Friday, January 24, 2014, 3:28 PM -

    New Brunswick health officials are urging residents to get the flu shot amid an H1N1 outbreak in the province.

    As of January 18, five people in the province have died from seasonal influenza.

    Officials say the predominant virus this year has been Influenza A, or H1N1. So far, New Brunswick has seen 608 confirmed cases of the virus. Nearly 100 people have been hospitalized, with 24 admitted to the intensive care unit.

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    Health officials say that getting the flu shot every year is one of the most effective ways to prevent catching and spreading the flu virus. 

    Here are some other ways to beat the flu, courtesy of the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information on influenza(the flu), visit: 

    Wash your hands frequently

    Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing and sneezing and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective in killing viruses. 

    Keep your hands away from your face

    In most cases, the flu virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. 

    Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand

    If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands. 

    Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected

    Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses. 

    Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours. 

    If you get sick, stay home

    If you think you have the flu and are otherwise healthy, you should stay home from school or work until your symptoms are gone. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider. 

    Talk about staying healthy

    Encourage others to follow these simple steps. If you have children, be a good role model. Teach them to count to 20 while washing their hands and show them how to cover up when they cough or sneeze. 

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