The Nicosia general hospital’s accident and emergency department has seen the number of patients rise since Christmas due to increased cases of gastroenteritis and flu, it said on Wednesday.
According to the deputy director or the hospital, Andreas Eliades, scores of people are visiting the A&E department daily with virus infections, and upper respiratory tract infections, while the last few days there was also an increase in gastroenteritis and flu cases.
Around 80 per cent of the patients visiting the hospital’s A&E department have fever and virus infections, Eliades said.
These infections, he said, made their appearance just after Christmas and they mainly concern young people believed to have contracted the infectious viruses during the increased gatherings and social events held throughout the festive season.
“Luckily there were no cases concerning elderly people with chronic health problems,” Eliades said. He added that very few were the cases where patients had to be hospitalised.
A few days ago, there was a spike in gastroenteritis, Eliades said, but that at the moment it appears to have waned. The main symptoms of gastroenteritis, he said, are stomach ache, diarrhoea, and vomiting, which are manifested suddenly and last from two to three days.
Meanwhile the head of the health ministry’s infectious diseases unit, Maria Koliou, said that the first cases of the flu type Η1Ν1 have been recorded during the last week of December, but that the numbers are small.
Doctors urged members of the public to get flu vaccinations, which provide a shield against H1N1 and to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Earlier in the week the Paphos general hospital had too said that it’s A&E department has been very busy over the holiday period due to increased cases of gastroenteritis and flu.