98 people hospitalized over flu or flu-induced pneumonia in Latvia last week

A total of 98 people were hospitalized in Latvia over flu or flu-induced pneumonia last week. This means a total 878 residents have been hospitalized with this infection this season, according to data of the monitoring of influenza and acute upper respiratory infections published by Disease Prevention and Control Centre (SPKC).

No flu-related deaths were registered in Latvia last week. Since the beginning of the season, 13 people have died to flu.

Flu intensity had increased slightly last week, growing from 93.6 (from 13th to 19th January) infection cases to 109.6 cases per 100 000 residents last week. Elsewhere in Europe flu intensity continued increasing last week, said SPKC.

At the same time, SPKC reports that since the beginning of December, when flu infection intensity had reached its high point or 310.5 cases per 100 000 residents, infection cases remained at 100 infection cases.

When compared to the second week of 2020, infection cases have increased in Daugavpils, Jekabpils, Rezekne, Ventspils and Riga. Flu intensity bordering an epidemic was observed in Jekabpils, Rezekne, Jurmala and Liepaja. The majority of clinically confirmed flu infection cases were reported in Jekabpils and Rezekne.

78 patients were hospitalized with flu diagnosis last week, most in Riga, Rezekne and Daugavpils. 21 people were hospitalized with flu-induced pneumonia.

Of all 878 patients hospitalized this season, 221 or 25% were aged under four years and 281 patients or 32% were aged under 14 years. 304 patients or 35% were aged 15 to 64 years. The smallest number of hospitalized patients was older than 65 years – a total of 72 or 8%.

As noted by SPKC, flu impacts the health of older people and those suffering from chronic illnesses – cardiovascular diseases, lung and kidney problems, sugar diabetes, cancer, patients suffering from chronic infections and people with weakened immune system. Flu is especially dangerous for small children and pregnant women.

SPKC reminds that the best defence against flu and complications caused by it is vaccination. Because immunity is formed 14 days after receiving a shot and flu usually spreads for several months – up until the end of May – it is never too late to get a shot, SPKC specialists explain, adding that healthcare workers should get vaccinated as well to protect themselves and their patients.

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