Cyprus Mail

One death so far this flu season

One person has died from the flu in Cyprus, the health ministry said on Thursday, as the illness showed a rise in activity in the last week of 2014.
Between December 1 and January 23, authorities recorded two serious incidents across Cyprus, one leading to a death.

The patient, whose age and gender were not disclosed, had been suffering with health problems for many years, the ministry said.

Influenza activity in Cyprus started at the same time period as last year – last week of 2014 – and has followed an upward trend since.

Between January 2 and January 23, authorities gathered 24 samples with 10 testing positive for flu. Out of those, 80 per cent was the influenza A virus, H3N2, and the rest were influenza B.

Flu activity is on the rise in other EU countries also, including Greece, the ministry said.
The European Centre for Disease Control said one of the subtypes, H3N2, has undergone genetic and antigenic variation, which could make it resistant to the flu vaccine currently on offer.

Despite this, the vaccine remains the most effective means of protection from the flu this year.
High risk groups like the elderly and people with chronic illnesses should receive the seasonal flu vaccine to cut the danger of serious complications in the event the get ill, the ministry said.

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