Wed, May 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Flu cases still on the rise, but at reduced rate: CDC

SCHOOLS A PROBLEM:Of the 19 illness clusters reported last week, 14 were on school campuses, mostly elementary, and 11 of the clusters were flu

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said the number of cases of influenza was still rising slightly last week, with the majority of clustered cases coming from elementary schools.

The number of people reported with mild flu rose by 6 percent on a weekly basis, and most of the cases were of influenza A virus subtype H3N2, the centers’ statistics showed, although cases of influenza B also increased.

“A total of 19 clusters of flu-like cases were reported last week and 14 of them were on school campuses, with the majority at elementary schools,” CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

Eleven of the clusters were confirmed to be caused by influenza, Chuang said.

Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said nine cases of serious flu complications and one flu-linked death were confirmed last week, while a total of 430 serious flu complications and 60 flu-related deaths have been confirmed this season.

CDC physician Huang Hsin-yi (黃馨頤) said the youngest patient with serious complications last week was a nine-year-old girl in northern Taiwan, who was vaccinated in January.

The death last week was that of an 89-year-old man in southern Taiwan with chronic liver and cardiovascular disease who did not get a flu shot this season.

The centers’ data showed that 93 percent of the H3N2 subtype viruses circulating in communities match with the types in the vaccine administered this season, but flu viruses can change rapidly, so people should still take precautionary measures, Chuang said.

“People with flu-like symptoms should practice good hygiene, take sick leave, go see a doctor and rest,” he said.

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