May 12, 2009

Swine flu hits three at Toronto hospital

Three Toronto hospital employees, including one who had contact with patients, tested positive for the swine flu virus, hospital officials said.

The employees at Princess Margaret Hospital, which specializes in cancer care, appear to have been mildly ill and are all expected to return to health very quickly, Robert Bell, president and chief executive officer of the University Health Network, said in a staff memo.

A fourth employee of the health network contracted the H1N1 flu virus last week but spokeswoman Gillian Howard wouldn't say at which facility the fourth staffer worked, the Toronto Star reported.

The health network includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital, as well as a group of medical laboratories and foundations, and is closely affiliated with the University of Toronto.

In Ontario, 110 people have tested positive for H1N1, health officials said. All cases are considered mild, with symptoms no worse than with seasonal flu. No one has required hospitalization, officials said.

Canada has 330 confirmed H1N1 flu infections, health officials say. Of these, 110 are in Ontario, 79 are in British Columbia, 57 are in Nova Scotia, 52 are in Alberta, 16 are in Quebec, 10 are in Saskatchewan, three are in Prince Edward Island, two are in New Brunswick and one is in Manitoba.

Globally, about 4,800 cases have been confirmed in 33 countries, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Cases include at least 1,626 in Mexico and 2,618 in the United States, officials said.