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Estonia records three influenza deaths this winter

Medicine and a thermometer (photo is illustrative).
Medicine and a thermometer (photo is illustrative). Source: Karin Koppel

Three elderly people have died from the flu in Estonia this winter and more than 350 cases have been confirmed by testing since the end of October.

The virus is mainly spreading among young people, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Wednesday. There are almost 40 people receiving hospital treatment, mostly children.

There are outbreaks in Ida-Viru County, Lääne-Viru County, Narva and Tallinn, Eliise Metsoja, chief specialist of the Health Board's Influenza Center, told AK.

So far three people have died, all over 70 and all unvaccinated against the flu. Influenza A, subtype H3N2, is currently spreading in the country.

"The H3N2 subtype of influenza A virus is the most difficult of these subtypes because there is a risk of serious complications and death," Metsoja said.

The flu is currently spreading fastest in Ida-Viru County and 40 percent of confirmed cases have been registered there.

"Our laboratory diagnoses about 40-45 cases of flu a week. We currently have six patients in the internal medicine department and four in the pediatric ward," said Olev Silland, chief physician of Narva Hospital.

One of the younger patients at Narva Hospital has contracted both coronavirus and flu, which is rare. The child does not have a severe case, the hospital said.

There were no deaths from flu in Estonia in the 2020/2021 season.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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