14 flu deaths this winter

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Some 14 people died from an influenza infection during the winter months in Cyprus, as reported by the Health Ministry.

Initially, reports suggested that one of the victims was a young child who had been infected by Influenza ‘A’, while she had not been suffering from any underlying health conditions.

On Friday, the health ministry issued a statement saying the victim was an elderly person, and not an eight year old girl. The error was attributed to a “typing mistake”.

The patient died at Limassol General Hospital on February 25, having been admitted on February 15.

Talking to the Cyprus News Agency, the Health Ministry’s Field Epidemiologist, Valentinos Silvestros, said that a total of 14 people lost their lives to infections from Influenza A and B.

The data concerns the period between 26 December 2022 and 6 March 2023.

The vast majority of deaths were in Limassol, while three of the 14 deaths were recorded in Larnaca.

The death list includes two young people, a 24-year-old man who died from Influenza A and a 37-year-old woman with Influenza B.

Among the dead is a 48-year-old woman, as well as a 56-year-old man.

The remaining nine deaths involved senior citizens, over the age of 70.

440 hospitalised

According to Silvestros, the number of people hospitalised with flu during the period in question, amounted to 440, of whom 274 were children under the age of 15.

The median age of people hospitalised with a flu infection in the week 27 February to 6 March was eight years.

As the epidemiologist said, 24.4% were over the age of 65, 12.2% were between 40 and 65, 7.3% were 15 to 39, while 44% were aged 5 to 14 and 12.2% children under 4 years.

In addition, he noted that for the week of 27 February to 6 March, 6% of total hospital admissions involved respiratory viruses, such as Influenza, RSV and COVID-19.

According to Silvestros, flu activity remains high, while at the moment the presence of Influenza B “is stronger”.