Latvian authorities announce influenza epidemic in the country

Last week, the number of patients with flu in Valmiera reached the threshold of an epidemic – 163.6 cases per 100,000 residents. With that, 15 January was declared the beginning of an influenza epidemic in Latvia, BNN was told by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

The centre reports flue cases registered in the second week of 2019 in Riga (78.6 per 100,000), Jelgava (57.7 per 100,000), Ventspils (45.0 per 100,000), Jurmala (35.4 per 100,000), Daugavpils (22.8 per 100,000) and Liepaja (13.1 per 100,000). The average flue intensity in Latvia is 52.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

113 patients were hospitalized with flu in Riga, Jelgava, Liepaja, Rezekne, Ventspils and Jekabpils. 33 of them were diagnosed with influenza-caused pneumonia. Since the beginning of the season, the centre has reported 428 hospitalized cases. Of those cases, 72 flu patients were suffering from pneumonia.

People suffering from chronic diseases – cardiovascular, lung and liver problems, sugar diabetes, cancer, chronic infections and people with weakened immune system – are at risk of the most serious consequences from influenza. Children and pregnant women are also especially at risk, DPCC reports.

The centre also reminds that residents have the option to receive influenza vaccine.

DPCC epidemiologists remind: «To prevent the virus from spreading, people suffering from cough and running nose should remain at home and wash hands regularly. In the event of infection, residents should contact their family physician and stay at home.»

National Health Service reminds that for the duration of the influenza epidemic the state budget finances home visits of family physicians for flue patients. These patients only have to pay the patient fee – EUR 2.85.

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