Approximately 30 cases of the H1N1 flu strain have been reported on the Garden Hill First Nation located 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. David Harper, Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), the organization representing northern chiefs, told CBC News that the community ran out of flu vaccines last Tuesday. They were anticipating a shipment on Thursday but it had not been delivered.
Harper confirmed that at least three people with H1N1 were airlifted from the Oji-Cree community of Garden Hill to hospitals in Winnipeg early last week. Last year when the flu hit the community, Council shut down schools, daycares and the local arena to prevent the flu from spreading.
Garden Hill First Nation sent a call out to other local First Nations communities but were refused any extra vaccines.
Last year the flu was responsible for the deaths of 3 people in Garden Hill, a small fly-in community of just over 3000 members.