Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Flu season expected to peak this week
流感發威 預估本週最高峰

Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, left, gets a government-funded flu jab in Greater Taichung on Nov. 4 last year.
台中市長胡志強去年十一月四日在台中接種公費流感疫苗。

Photo: Chang Ching-ya, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者張菁雅

The year’s influenza epidemic escalated over the Lunar New Year holiday, as three times more people than normally visited hospitals and outpatient clinics with flu-like symptoms. The number of patients visiting outpatient clinics with the flu soared as people returned to work on Thursday last week. Changhua County Public Health Bureau Director-General Yeh Yen-po says that the flu season has not yet reached its peak this year. Practicing ear, nose and throat doctor and Association of Changhua County Clinics secretary-general Lien Che-chen expects the flu season to peak this week as children return to school after the holidays and says that people should be vigilant and take all of the necessary precautions.

Changhua Christian Hospital and Show Chwan Memorial Hospital say that 20 percent of emergency visits during the Spring Festival holiday had flu-like symptoms — three times the number of visits prior to the Lunar New Year. Throngs of sick people swarmed medical clinics last Thursday as they reopened for business, with more than half for the flu.

Lien says that this current wave of the flu is a result of two influenza A strains and one B strain triggering upper respiratory infections, high fevers, bodily aches, coughing and sore throats. Although the flu was already quite prevalent toward the middle of last month, the huge flow of people traveling over the Lunar New Year holiday kept the epidemic situation from subsiding. Junior high and elementary school students being in close proximity again as they returned to school yesterday will probably bring about the peak of the flu season, Lien says.

Yeh also says that the flu started growing more prevalent in the middle of last month, adding that the incidence rate had climbed to 18 percent two weeks ago, meaning that 18 of every 100 patients had flu-like symptoms. Compared with the overwhelming influenza incidence rate of 22 percent two years ago, Yeh estimates that this year’s flu season has yet to reach its climax, adding that the peak will probably last for at least a week. The incidence rate will probably surpass the 20 percent mark in the next few days and once the peak is reached it will gradually recede, he says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. escalate v.

逐步上升 (zhu2 bu4 shang4 sheng1)

例: Violent protests in the Ukraine are escalating.

(烏克蘭暴力抗議逐步上升。)

2. trigger v.

引發 (yin3 fa1)

例: What triggered his sudden outburst?

(到底是什麼引發他突然感情衝動?)

3. accurate adj.

準確的 (zhun3 que4 de5)

例: These statistics are obviously not accurate.

(這些統計明顯不準確。)


Since projections for the A strains of influenza this year were accurate, it allowed the vaccines to be highly effective in alleviating flu symptoms, Yeh says. More than 4,000 government-funded flu jabs are still available. Those who qualify and people with low immunity levels, such as seniors or young children, can acquire this extra source of antibiotic protection by visiting contracted hospitals or clinics to get the free inoculation.

Aside from preventing the flu by getting vaccinated, Yeh also says that you should stay away from public areas as much as possible, wear masks when going out, frequently wash your hands and get more rest than usual.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

今年春節碰上流行感冒大流行,醫院急診的流感患者比平時多了三倍,上週四開始上班,各診所流感患者大量湧入。彰化縣衛生局長葉彥伯指出,流感最高峰還沒過;耳鼻喉科執業醫師的彰化縣診所協會理事長連哲震則預估,本週開學將達流感最高峰,民眾要多注意防範。

彰化基督教醫院和彰化秀傳醫院都表示,春節期間約百分之二十的急診患者是流感患者,比過年前的百分之五多了三倍,上週四各診所正常看診,都擠滿病患,一半以上都是流感。

連哲震表示,這一波流感是兩種A型流感病毒和一種B型流感病毒流竄,引發高燒、全身痠痛及咳嗽、喉嚨痛等上呼吸道感染,雖然上月中旬已經大流行,但過年期間人口大流動,讓疫情未稍歇,昨天國中小開學將因學生聚集,可能是流感最高峰的時期。

葉彥伯說,上月中旬流感開始升溫,感染率到兩週前已爬升到百分之十八的病例,也就是說,每一百個看診病患就有十八個是流感,比較前年大流行的流感病例比百分之二十二,他預估流感的最高峰還沒到,至少還得持續一週的高峰,未來幾天病例比可能會突破百分之二十,達到最高峰後才會慢慢緩解。

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