HEALTH: Cyprus influenza A death toll rises to 16

Cyprus health authorities on Tuesday said the death toll from symptoms associated with influenza A since December has risen to 16 making it the worst outbreak for a decade, although the virus is said to be abating.

The Cyprus Health Ministry issued a statement saying although influenza activity is still present it is on a downward spiral and should be over by the end of March.

Three new deaths were recorded over the last week while 58 serious cases in total have been treated in hospital since the outbreak in December.

It is noted that the new incidents were hospitalised for 13 to 57 days in various hospitals, while two of the three cases had underlying illnesses, said a health ministry statement.

There are four serious cases currently being treated at intensive care units in general hospitals, there has been no serious flu case admitted in the last 48 hours, it added.

The ministry said influenza activity in the past week has shown a significant decline compared to previous weeks and is in recession.

Authorities said taking the influenza vaccine remains the best way to prevent catching the virus, especially for vulnerable groups.

There are sufficient vaccines for those in these vulnerable groups who want to be vaccinated.

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus and quite different from the common cold, which is less severe.

It’s not normally dangerous if you’re healthy, but sometimes different strains of influenza can cause serious illness in some people.

The Health Ministry published preventative measures for the public to follow

Ensure good ventilation of your home

Avoid lingering in crowded places

When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue in front of the mouth and then wash your hands

Wash your hands well and often

Do not smoke

If your child is ill, do not send it to nursery or school for at least 48 hours after the fever and symptoms have subsided

Source: The Financial Mirror