|Posted by moodhacker on February 8, 2019 at 4:15 AM|
After thirty nine people lost their lives in Greece from flu, government authorities and the Greek Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO, HCDCP) reminded the public to get immunized, while there is a shortage of flu vaccines currently in the Greek pharmacies
The 21 victims succumbed during the past seven days, experts told a press briefing in Athens. Only two days ago, the death toll stood at 22.
General Secretary of Public Health Ioannis Basskozos called on citizens, at this very moment, in the mid of February to get the flu vaccine, while no vaccines are now available at pharmacies.
"We have ordered 50,000 vaccines to be in the Greek market by the end of the week," Mr Basskozos said, without giving a substantive answer on why the country has been left run out of vaccines, since the possible wave of flu was expected by the epidemiologists to peak at thsi period of time and on. Mr Basskozos, in fact, insisted that the health system is at its best, comcerng also the situation in the ICU.
"We have the largest number of ICUs in operation in recent years, 552 ICU beds are available across the country," said Baskozos, in an effort to show that the seasonal influenza epidemic is under control and that the health system is succeeding to handle the epidemic and the vulnerable target of influenza patients
However, the list of dozens of patients - about 60 on a daily basis last month - waiting to find an ICU bed intruded into chambers and corridors, cancels the Secretary General's assertion in the most sad way.
The Greek CDC (HCDCP) scientists characterized the spread of influenza greater than an other seasons, this year. At least 15% of the population is currently infected with influenza , with children and generally young, productive people being affected by the prevalent influenza strain, pandemic A (H1N1). There have been already two deaths of children, while nine children have been hospitalized in ICU - two of them still remaining in the ICU in critical condition. The recommendation of the scientists to parents regarding children with flu symptoms is timely communication with the doctor within the first 48 hours and whenever a severe and rapid deterioration occurs. They also said that the influenza epidemic could be exploited by schools and educators to introduce and learn the hygiene measures and their importance. It should be noted that all nine children hospitalized in ICU were not vaccinated against the flu. Of the 165 of the adults patients who were admitted to ICUs, only 15% were vaccinated while 85% of the patients were people of the high-risk groups and should have been immunized.
Greece is still lagging below the 75 percent threshold which the WHO has set for the vaccination of people belonging to population segments at high risk of complications, he said.
In the previous flu season 2017-2018, KEELPNO had recorded 42 fatalities, down from 108 in the winter season 2016-2017, according to the official data.