Seasonal flu outbreak in Greece: A total of 21 deaths from complications, 8 in the last week

A total of 21 people have died from influenza complications, 8 in the last week alone, according to the National Public Health Organization (EHEA) weekly epidemiological report.

Of the victims, 19 (90.5%) belonged to a high-risk clinical group for which seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended and 8 (42.1%) were vaccinated.

The 13 deaths were in cases that needed hospitalization in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 8 in cases that were not hospitalized in ICUs. These are 11 men and 10 women, ranging in age from 4 to 91 years.

In addition, 34 new cases were reported, bringing the number of ICU patients to 88. A total of 100 serious laboratory confirmed cases have been recorded. Of these patients, only 42 (42%) had been vaccinated for influenza.

According to the EODY, visits to doctors for influenza have increased significantly in the last week, as we continue to experience a period of increased flu activity and emphasize the importance of anti-influenza vaccination as the best precautionary measure.

With the contribution of Professor of Infectious Diseases of the Nursing School of Nursing, of the National Public Health Organization, Sotiris Tsiodras, “K” answers how the epidemic is developing this year and how we can better protect ourselves.

1. At what stage of our seasonal flu epidemic is our country currently in, and for how long is it expected to hurt us?
Disease activity is on the rise at this time, and we expect it to peak in mid-February. Serious cases of the disease are estimated to be present by the end of March, possibly later.

2. What are the characteristics of this year’s flu?
This year, type A flu prevails, while according to the latest data on our country in Greece, subtypes A (H3N2) and A (H1N1) are equally prevalent. It is noteworthy that the characteristic of influenza A (H3N2) is that it develops and often presents with genetic changes. It also affects people from vulnerable populations and the elderly more severely than influenza A (H1N1), which can also cause complications in young and healthy people.

3. How many are estimated to be infected with influenza on an annual basis and how many present the serious form of the disease?
It is estimated that every year 5% -10% of the population will get flu. About one in 1,000, depending on the strain of the virus that is prevalent, will need further treatment, even hospitalization due to the disease. Mostly this proportion is for vulnerable groups of the population. And that is why in these cases, antiviral medicines should be given early. We recommend people belonging to high risk groups for serious illness such as those over 60, people with chronic diseases (immunosuppression, cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, kidney, diabetes mellitus, etc.), obese, pregnant and pregnant vigilance and where the symptoms of influenza begin to take antiviral medicines, with a doctor’s prescription and without laboratory confirmation of the disease.

4. Most people who get sick will not have any complications. What do they have to do to recover unexpectedly?
Mostly stay at home for as long as they are ill. Influenza like other viruses usually makes its cycle and passes and therefore needs rest, plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration that may cause fever or gastrointestinal symptoms and receive symptomatic treatment such as antipyretics to treat fever and analgesics for muscle aches. Antibiotics have no place in the treatment of influenza because antibiotics do not fight viruses. If the symptoms worsen, however, the patient should seek medical advice immediately.

5. How long do the flu symptoms usually last?
Symptoms begin 1-4 days after the person is infected with the virus and last 2-7 days, but the cough can persist for some time.

source – kathimerini.gr

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