Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Flu deaths reach 37 for last week

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thirty-seven flu-related deaths were reported last week, the highest weekly count this flu season. The total number of deaths since July last year stood at 121, the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that the number of flu-related deaths might reach between 230 and 290 by the end of the month.

A total of 314 cases of serious flu-related complications were reported last week, adding to a total of 1,423 cases since July last year, with infections mainly of the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

The CDC said the peak of flu infections is over, with the greatest number of serious flu-related complications reported for a single day on Feb. 22, but the number of deaths could still rise with progression of the disease.

“While the peak infection is over, there will be a peak in emergency and outpatient cases, and a peak of serious flu-related complications, followed by the peak of deaths,” CDC Director-General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said.

“The total number of serious flu-related complications might reach 1,800 to 1,900 by the end of March,” Kuo said. “We are trying to prevent deaths reaching that number.”

“Using the average death rate per reports of serious complications — 13 to 15 percent — the total deaths might reach 230 to 290 by the end of the month,” Kuo said.

Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said statistics showed that the percentage of influenza B virus infections is increasing, accounting for about 35 percent of flu cases reported, but the number of influenza B virus cases resulting in serious complications or death is lower than for H1N1.

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