Another 18 people lost their lives due to flu during February 3-10, raising the death toll of flu victims to 56, Greece’s Disease Control & Prevention KEELPNO announced on Thursday.
In the same period, another 40 people were admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU) in the country’s hospitals.
There is also a rise of citizens visiting a doctor with flu-like symptoms in the same period when compared to the previous week.
According to KEELPNO data:
226 serious cases of laboratory confirmed influenza have been recorded since the beginning of the flue season. 219 were hospitalized in ICU. Vaccinated were 29 people (13%).
From the 56 dead, 49 were treated in ICU and 7 in normal hospital wards.
The dominant virus remains H1N1, however, strain H3N2 is also spread boosting specialists’ concern for a new, small epidemic with the second strain towards the end of this year’s flu season.
During the week 4-10 February, a total of 400 clinical samples for influenza viruses, all from hospitals, were tested in flu laboratories.
149 (37.2%) were positive for influenza viruses, namely 148 (99.3%) were type A and 1 (0.7%) were type B. 119 type A strains were subtyped and 18 (15.1%) belonged to subtype A (H3N2) and 101 (84.9%) to subtype A (H1N1).
KEELPNO experts recall that the flu activity increases in January and reaches its peak in the months of February – March. They point out, however, that flu is unpredictable, so both the onset and the duration of seasonal epidemic activity may differ from season to season.
ICU-treated cases: 123 men and 96 women, ranging in age from 0 to 90 years and an average age of 58 years. 218 (99.5%) of the above-mentioned cases are due to influenza A and 1 (0.5%) to influenza B virus.
Of the 219 hospitalized cases, 29 (13%) were vaccinated. It should be noted, however, that 166 (75.8%) of the 219 serious cases treated in ICU belong to a high-risk clinical group for whom seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended and 29 (17.5%) vaccinated .
56 deaths: 39 men and 17 women aged 0 to 90 years and average age 68 years. All of the aforementioned cases were due to influenza A virus. The 46 influenza A strains isolated, subtyped and of which 39 (84.8%) belong to subtype A (H1N1) and 7 (15.2%) to subtype A (H3N2). It is noted that 48 (85.7%) of the 56 cases were in a high-risk clinical group for whom seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended.
According to experts the flu season will continue for another 8 to 10 weeks.