The mayor of Iglulik said a sick child from the community was medevaced to Iqaluit on March 3 and died on March 5 amid a flu outbreak in the community, but the Department of Health won’t confirm any details related to the case. 

Respiratory illness is on the rise across Nunavut. The Department of Health refuses to say whether the virus has led to any deaths in the territory.
Pixabay photo

Below is the email that the Department of Health sent on the morning of March 14 in response to some questions Nunavut News submitted on March 7.

Q1: Can the Department of Health confirm that a child from Iglulik died as the result of influenza?

A1: Health will not release personal medical information of clients to protect their rights to privacy and confidentiality.

Q2: Can Health provide any other details?

A2: See A1.

Q3: What was the age and sex of the child?

A3: See A1.

Q4: What was the date of death?

A4: See A1.

Q5: Where was the place of death of the child?

A5: See A1.

Q6: Will there be an investigation?

A6: Nunavut’s coroner investigates all child deaths.

Q7: Have there been other flu-related deaths in Nunavut this year?

A7: Due to our population size, Health is not reporting numbers in Nunavut, at this point, due to confidentiality considerations.

The Department of Health issued a bulletin on March 13 indicating that Nunavummiut may encounter delays in service at community health centres and at the Qikiqtani General Hospital due to an increased number of respiratory illnesses. The department urged the public not to accompany sick family members to the health centre, if it can be avoided, to reduce the chances of catching the illness. It also reminded residents that antibiotics are ineffective against respiratory illnesses, which involves a fever and cough, runny nose, sore throat, loss of appetite, tiredness and body aches.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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