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Greece weekly report: Sharp increase in Covid-19, flu infections

There was a sharp increase in cases of Covid-19, flu or flu-like symptoms and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections between 18-24 December, according to the weekly report by the National Organisation for Public Health released on Friday.

There was an increased spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus in the community, while  hospital admissions were up 37%, rising higher than the number of admissions in the same week of 2022.

There were 62 deaths from Covid-19, with the youngest being 39, while the  median age of the deceased was 83.

54 people remain intubated in hospitals across the country.

In total, 102 JN.1 sub-variants of BA.2.86 have been detected in Greece.

In summary week 51/2023:

Influenza syndromes (regardless of pathogen)
✓ The number of influenza cases per 1,000 visits showed an increase compared to last week

SARS-CoV2 virus – COVID-19 infection
✓ The positivity in all the tested samples showed an increase compared to the previous week.

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Infections and re-infections: 40,783 (+4,404 from previous week).

Note that not included are positive Rapid test results conducted by patients at home.

  • Tests: PCR+Rapid: 214,648 (+9,119)
  • Positivity: (PCR+RAPID): 19% (1.3%)

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✓ The number of admissions (new 1,496) showed a 37% increase compared to the average weekly number admissions in the previous 4 weeks (n=1,094) and was higher than the number of admissions the corresponding week of 2022 (n=1,250).

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✓ The number of new intubations (n=13) showed a decrease compared to the average weekly number of new intubations over the previous 4 weeks (n=26) and was lower than the number of intubations in the corresponding week of 2022 (n=51) .

✓ The number of patients with COVID-19 infection who are hospitalized with intubation is 54.

✓ 62 deaths were recorded with a median age of 83 years (range 39-99 years). The number of deaths showed an increase over the average weekly number of deaths over the previous 4 weeks (n=53) and was lower than the number of deaths in the corresponding week in 2022 (n=170)

✓ At week 48, the most frequent BA.2 sub-variant was EG.5 (33%) followed by XBB.1.5 (29%) and BA.2.86 (22%).✓ In our country a total of 102 JN.1 strains have been detected (sub-variant of BA.2.86 which from 12/19 identified as a sub-variant of epidemiological interest), with date of sampling from
3/10 to 3/12.

The additional risk to public health from JN.1 is assessed internationally on
present as low.

✓ Viral load surveillance in municipal wastewater showed an increase in SARS-CoV-2 virus circulation in 5 of the 10 areas checked.

Influenza virus

✓ Influenza positivity in the community (sentinel network) remains above 10% (seasonal start threshold of influenza epidemic activity according to ECDC).

✓ 3 new serious cases with hospitalization in ICU were recorded, while no new death was recorded from laboratory confirmed influenza.

✓ From week 40/2023 to week 51/2023, 21 people were hospitalized with laboratory confirmed influenza in the ICU and 5 deaths from laboratory-confirmed influenza were recorded.

✓ From week 40/2023 to week 51/2023 a total of 78 positive samples for influenza have been detected (9%). In the two influenza reference centers 76 samples have been standardized: 74 type A and 2 type B.

✓ Of the 71 type A strains subtyped, 15 (21%) belonged to subtype A(H3) and 56 (79%) to subtype A(H1)pdm09.

Respiratory syncytial virus – RSV

✓ The RSV positivity in sentinel PPH samples showed an increase compared to the previous week

sources; EODY, healthreport.gr, @herogrigoraki @sandbird_

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