Influenza cases tripled in last week of 2019

Medicines. Source: Karin Koppel

In the last week of 2019 cases of influenza tripled and two-thirds of those affected were under 15 years old.

In the last week of the year, the number of people seeking medical treatment for upper respiratory viral infections fell by 53 percent compared to the previous week, but the number of influenza cases trebled.

There were 104 confirmed influenza cases, of which 43 were influenza A and 61 were influenza B.  

Olga Sadikova, chief specialist at the Influenza Center at the Health Board, said the number of referrals probably fell because of holidays and the school holidays, which means that people who fell ill may not immediately seek medical help but stay at home instead.

"Based on data from a targeted study of influenza and influenza-like infections, the intensity of the flu can still be estimated to be low, but the spread of the flu is still widespread (across the country - ed). But cases are on the rise," said Sadikova.

Two-thirds of influenza cases were diagnosed in children under the age of 15. Working-age and elderly patients made-up 28.9 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. 

Preliminary data from the Health and Wellbeing Information Systems Center show five patients needed hospitalization last week. Since the start of the season, 30 patients have been hospitalized for influenza, over 90 percent of whom have been children and adolescents under the age of 19.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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