12/31/2013 04:25 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 01:38 EST

H1N1 Alberta: Stollery Children's Hospital In Edmonton Closes Ward After Flu Outbreak


The Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton has closed the doors to one ward after an outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

According to CBC Edmonton, the pediatric general medicine unit is now in isolation and not accepting new patients. To prevent spread, current patients are not being transferred from one department to another.

Closing the ward is standard procedure when there are more than two cases, reports the Edmonton Journal.

Kerry Williamson, spokesman for Alberta Health Services (AHS), told the Journal three cases have been confirmed in the unit in the last week.

As of Friday, AHS says there were 662 confirmed flu cases in the province, including 621 people with the H1N1 form of the virus.

Two people have died from the H1N1 strain in the province this season - one in Calgary and one in Edmonton - and hundreds have been hospitalized.

Dr. Gerry Predy, a senior medical officer with Alberta Health Services, said this H1N1 strain has been around for about five years and hits people in their 30s, 40s and 50s harder than seniors, who usually get very ill with other strains.

AHS has opened mass influenza immunization clinics in Calgary and Edmonton.

This is the biggest outbreak of H1N1 in Alberta since the 2009 pandemic.

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