The number of people in Greece who have died due to the flu this season has risen to 54, among them a young 17-year-old boy and an infant, health officials said. The influenza virus is spreading rapidly in Greece this winter, with a daily increasing death toll.
According to Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) experts, numerous people have been hospitalized with the flu and 29 are still under observation at Intensive Care Units this week. Health officials noted that the flu epidemic will continue to develop over the next three months and the number of severe cases is expected to rise. Furthermore, they underlined that a mutated virus strain was not covered by the flu vaccine, but advised everyone, especially the most vulnerable, to be very careful and follow precaution measures, including getting the anti-flu shot. In total, some 122 patients have been hospitalized at intensive care units since the seasonal flu outbreak in December.
According to KEELPNO, the majority of people who have been affected by the flu this year were adult men. It should be noted that among the most vulnerable groups, the elderly population and young people suffering from cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses are most at risk. The dominant, slightly mutated strain A (H3N2) is very aggressive and often proves fatal when it affects elder people with serious health problems. Studies have shown that 50-80% of respiratory infections are transmitted through touch, pathogenic microorganisms that exist on door handles, telephone receivers, computer keyboards and generally on items of frequent use.
It is therefore extremely important to maintain meticulous hand hygiene. Hand washing should take place before preparing and consuming food, before and after visiting the toilet, after contact with animals and of course after each financial transaction.
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