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Ministry urges vulnerable groups to be vaccinated against flu

January 17, 2020 at 3:30pm
Edited by

The Health Ministry on Friday once again urged vulnerable groups of the population who have not yet been vaccinated for the flu to do so.

The advice came in a press release giving details on the flu situation in Cyprus as part of an EU wide monitoring of flu cases which started on September 30, 2019 and will be completed on May 17, 2020.

So far, up until January 13, there have been six serious flu cases in Cyprus which required treatment in the intensive care unit. Five patients have either been discharged from hospital or are being treated in the wards while one remains in the ICU. Their ages are 13, 17 , 53 , 68, 71 and 80, the public health services said.

Of the 483 samples sent to the Nicosia Hospital lab for, 118 were positive for influenza A and four for influenza B. The strain of the influenza A has still to specified, although in the rest of Europe it appears to be primarily mainly H3N2 (60%) and to a lesser extent H1N1. Both as well as two strains of influenza B are covered by the flu vaccination available in Cyprus, the press release added.

Besides a call to vulnerable groups to be vaccinated, the public health services also listed a number of hygiene measures to prevent the spread of flu, including keeping their living areas well ventilated, washing their hands frequently and avoiding crowded indoor spaces.

The high risk groups are:

  1. All people aged 65 and over

And:

2  Infants aged over six months and adults who have among other the following conditions

  • Chronic respiratory conditions
  • Chronic heart condition
  • Diabetes or other metabolic condition
  • Chronic kidney or liver condition
  • Neurological conditions or neuromuscular conditions
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • Immunosuppression (hereditary or acquired)
  • Transplant patients
  • Children and teenagers who require long term treatment with aspirin
  • Individuals with BMI >40 kg/m2

3 Pregnant women irrespective of how advanced their pregnancy is, women who have just given birth, women who are breast feeding

4 People who come into close contact with infants under six months or who care for people who are high risk

5  People working in the provision of health services and in accommodation centres for refugees

6 Vets and professionals in animal production specifically poultry farmers, pig farmers, abattoir employees and generally people who come into contact with poultry

 

For further information contact the monitoring unit for contagious diseases on telephones 22 605 601 and 22 605 659.