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INSIDE: Alt-ed student researchers to probe drop-out problem Pg. 3 T H U R S D A Y January 17, 2013 10 Rollers rallying for derby mom  N E W S , S P O R T S , W E A T H E R & E N T E R T A I N M E N T  Valley hit hard as flu bug spreads BY TYLER OLSEN T Paul J. Henderson/TIMES An RCMP officer talks to a witness who found an unconscious woman near the CN tracks west of Broadway on Tuesday afternoon. Woman found near CN tracks dies BY PAUL J. HENDERSON A 54-year-old Chilliwack woman found unresponsive close to the CN tracks west of Broadway on Tuesday was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead. The woman was discovered by two people walking near the tracks. Chilliwack RCMP were called to the scene at approximately 3:30 p.m., according to spokesperson Const. Tracy Wolbeck. No train involved in death of woman who was discovered by two people walking near tracks Mounties began CPR on the woman until paramedics arrived. She was transported to Chilliwack General Hospital where she was pronounced dead. It appears that no train was involved in the incident as emergency personnel contacted CN to notify them to stop trains. Police say the incident also does not appear to be suspicious. “It does not appear at this time that there is anything suspicious involving this incident; however, police are making further enquiries this morning to confirm this,” Wolbeck said in a statement. “If we determine that this was a nonsuspicious death, further communication will be coming from the BC Coroner Service regarding identity.” he growing toll of influenza has forced Fraser Health to declare the flu a “health hazard” and impose restrictions at residential care facilities throughout the valley. Fraser Health says 19 long-term care facilities have reported outbreaks of the flu this year. That number is twice as many as reported in the previous three years combined. (An outbreak is classified as three people in the same area showing symptoms.) And the spread of the flu isn’t just an inconvenience, according to health officials. “We have seen a significant number of hospitalizations and we have seen deaths,” said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, a medical health officer and Fraser Health’s medical director for infection control. Fraser Health said the number of flu-associated fatalities is already three times the total from the previous three years combined. And the number of hospitalizations has reached four times the average rate. Brodkin says the flu occurs in cycles and this year follows several comparatively mild seasons. That, she says, may have dulled people’s vigilance against the flu. “I think we’ve perhaps become a little complacent because of the mild seasons we’ve had and forgotten that flu can be a very serious and even deadly disease,” she said. With the flu declared a health hazard, all those visiting a residential care or assisted living facility who haven’t received the flu vaccine must wear a mask and “practise stringent hand hygiene.” While some have questioned the efficacy of this year’s flu vaccine, Brodkin said that while it is not perfect, it is “about as effective as past years’ vaccine.” She said the vaccine is not a magic bullet that guarantees a person will not get the flu; it just makes it much less likely. “The number-one thing you can do to protect yourself is to get a flu shot,” she said. The vaccine is most effective when combined with a younger person’s immune system. It is less effective on older people. (Despite prevalent myths, a person cannot get the flu from the most common vaccine, which uses dead influenza viruses that cannot infect a person. A second, live nasal vaccine, better protects children but is not offered to those with weakened immune systems). Brodkin also encourages people to stay home if they are sick and to practise good hand hygiene. Plumbing Service Department WWW.OCONNORGROUP.COM 06198229 8645 Young Street, Chilliwack 604-792-5151 FREE 143 PT pre-owned inspection and one year membership! only at 604-792-2754 DL#5952 02124924 Price 60¢

Chilliwack Times January 17 2013

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