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Flu Cases rise, flu vaccine shortage on the rise

Posted by moodhacker on January 16, 2017 at 4:05 AM

Health authorities sound the alarm as Greece enters the main phase of the influenza outbreak.

According to the Official Influenza surveillance report of the Greek CDC (HCDCP/KEELPNO), during the first week of the New Year,1/2017 (02-08 January 2017)

the outpatient visits for patients with flu-like showed a further increase compared to the previous  week 52/2016

• During  the week 1/2017 (02-08 January 2017),  Influenza Reference Laboratories examined  206 clinical samples in total for influenza in the Greek Hospitals,  of which

109 (52.9%) were positive for influenza viruses, with 105 (96.3%)identified as type A and 4 (3.7%) as type B.

88 strains of the type A were further idenitfied by 100% as a subtype A (H3N2)

• Since October 2016 ( week 40/2016)  till January 8th of  2017

39 serious cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza were recorded , all with hospitalization in ICU,

of whom only 15% were vaccinated for the flu.

During the same period of time,

a total of 8 deaths from laboratory-confirmed influenza has been recorded, all with hospitalization in ICU

Of the total eight who died, only two (25%) were vaccinated for the flu.

• Based on the above, the influenza activity in Greece is in an upward phase. Dominant

by the subtype A (H3N2) being the dominant .


According to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KEELPNO), in the last week of 2016, 35 out every 1,000 Greeks who went to the doctor were suffering from the flu. The corresponding figure for the last week of 2015 was 20 per 1,000 visits.


In the first three days of the year, 10 patients suffering from serious flu symptoms are hospitalized in intensive care.


In 2016, the peak of the influenza wave was recorded in the first week of February.


According to Internal Medicine Professor and KEELPNO associate Sotiris Tsiodras the flu virus that prevails this season is the type A (H3N2) virus that usually causes serious illness to the elderly as opposed to subtype H1N1 that is affecting mainly young people.


According to the latest figures from the Health Ministry, more than 1.75 million flu vaccines have been imported into the country since early autumn of 2016 — a significant increase from 2015 where 1.63 million were imported or 2014 when 1.66 million were imported.


On Monday, the head of the Pharmacists’ Association, Constantinos Lourantos, spoke at a press conference where he explained that in 2016 Greeks warmed up to the idea of getting flu vaccine shots. However, one thing that the country was not counting on was the demand for the flu vaccine to actually result in a shortage of supply.


The rising sales of the vaccine for the 2016 flu season has caused a shortage, sources report, stating that an additional 27,500 shots are expected within the coming week with the flu season coming to full fruition after the holidays.


According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO) in Greece alone in 2015 there were more than 80 deaths from implications of flu virus strains and more than 100 deaths in 2014.


Meanwhile at the refugee centers throughout Greece, due to living outdoors, illnesses such as the flu are on the rise in the camps among the refugees, the authorities of the overcrowded camps are reporting. Furthermore, there is a shortage of medicine and vaccines at the camps, which is only complicating the situation, sources say

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