Athens, Feb 13 IANS | 10 months ago

Greek state health authorities warned of a flu outbreak Wednesday after recording 18 deaths out of more than 70 patients hospitalised with complications since the start of winter.

According to experts of the Centre for Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), the most dominant influenza virus this year is the H1N1 strand of type A but further two seasonal flu type B strands seem to be also on the rise, Xinhua reported.

Scientists stressed that the vaccines and anti-flu drugs available are sufficient to face the viruses, highlighting a worrying trend this year in comparison to previous years when people seemed to be more alarmed following the 2009 pandemic scare caused by the emergence of the bird flu; that Greeks' vaccination rates this season are low.

That stands also for people who belong to the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and patients with chronic diseases.

Most of the people who have been admitted to hospitals this year had not been immunised, according to the data.

As scientists expect that the flu season will continue for at least one more month, they suggest the public to take up precaution measures and use anti-flu medicines with no delay within the first 48 hours of symptoms.

(Posted on 13-02-2014)

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