Two People Die of Influenza Epidemic in Croatia

Total Croatia News

This year’s flu epidemic has already claimed lives.

This year, Croatia has been hit with a high intensity flu epidemic which has so far claimed two lives, with several thousand people infected in all parts of the country, announced on Tuesday the National Influenza Centre, reports on January 3, 2017.

Laboratory tests have confirmed about a thousand cases of influenza, which took two lives, in Zagreb and Split, in the week before the New Year”, said Vladimir Draženović, head of the National Influenza Centre.

The actual number of infected people is several times higher than the number of recorded cases, and the number grows dramatically from week to week, which shows that this year’s epidemic is a one of high intensity. Most cases have been recorded in Zagreb, but there is also a large number of infected people in Split, Slavonia and other parts of Croatia, says Draženović. According to his estimate, the flu this year “surprised residents of Split, where the situation is more difficult than usual and there are more patients”.

In addition to the high intensity, the epidemic could this year last longer than usual, because it started early (27 November). The Centre fears there could be a larger number of deaths since flu is the driver of various chronic diseases which can be fatal. It is also important that in Croatia, as well as in the rest of Europe, this year has brought a changed epidemiological status of circulation of the influenza virus, which includes all four strains of viruses, two of A type and two of B types.

“Influenza is a turbulent disease which is a consequence of the unpredictability of its causes. Every year we see something which surprises and stuns us, particularly in the number of cases in which flu can cause pneumonia and death”, continues Draženović.

Although this season has brought to Croatia cases of bird flu as well, he says that so far there is no direct threat from that disease, “but the potential is always there”. Fleeing from winter, birds which carry influenza virus came to this part of Europe in larger numbers. Cases reported so far in Croatia were not dangerous to humans, but you can never know with influenza because viruses can mutate in different ways.

“So far, people are not getting sick, but it is not advisable to touch dead ducks or swans, pluck them or use them as food. With such direct contact with dead birds, people can infect themselves with strains of bird flu”, warns the head of the National Influenza Centre.


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