Three people, including a nine-month-old baby, died last week who needed intensive care treatment for influenza. The virus also increased across all age groups last week, statistics show.
Data from West Tallinn Central Hospital, Tallinn Children's Hospital and Narva Hospital, showed five at-risk people, aged 63, 66, 69 and 83, and a nine-month-old infant needed intensive care treatment due to influenza last week. Three of the five in need of intensive care died, including the nine-month-old infant, the Health Board said (link in Estonian). These are the first people who have died this flu season.
Last week, 4,009 people turned to doctors for upper respiratory tract viral infections, increasing the rate of influenza and influenza-like infectious diseases by 26 percent.
Half of those in need of medical care were children. Among older people, the number of sick people increased by 60 percent in a week. Olga Sadikova, chief specialist of the influenza center of the Health Board, said the rate of influenza in all age groups increased and continues to rise.
During this flu season, 279 people have been in need of hospitalization, more than half of whom were children and adolescents up to 19 years.
The rate of influenza and influenza-like illnesses was highest in Tallinn, Ida-Viru County, Järva County, Lääne-Viru County and Viljandi County. In Saaremaa and Hiiumaa no cases of influenza have been recorded.
The has been laboratory confirmation of 226 influenza cases across Estonia, 178 of which were A and 48 were influenza b viruses.
The proportion of elderly and adult patients in need of hospitalization is still increasing, which may be attributed to post-influenza complications as a result of working while ill.
In order not to spread the flu, Sadikova recommends staying at home and treating yourself properly.
"It is also worth staying at home with mild signs of illness, because in addition to the risk of complications, a person with the flu may also spread the virus to at-risk groups for whom the flu can become life-threatening," she said.
The intensity of influenza illness is still being accessed as low and the spread of influenza widespread.
The best way to prevent flu is to vaccinate yourself. The influenza vaccine starts to work in healthy people 10 to 14 days after the injection and lasts for up to a year.
Editor: Helen Wright