Flu cases could rise due to cold spell: CDC

As Taiwan embraces its first cold air mass of this winter, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public Tuesday to stay warm and beware of flu-like symptoms as the number of influenza cases is likely to rise due to the temperature drop.

According to the CDC, the number of flu cases since July 1 totaled 205, of which 90 percent involved patients aged over 50, 93 percent of whom had a history of chronic disease. Meanwhile, 89 percent of the patients did not receive flu vaccinations this season.

Among the 205 people diagnosed, 24 died of flu-related complications, the center said, adding that 71 percent of the victims were infected with the H3N2 strain of the virus, while 92 percent had chronic diseases and 83 percent had not been vaccinated.

The H3N2 virus is expected to remain the mainstay of flu infections in the country this season, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.

CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said there were 21 new cases of flu-like symptoms reported last week, of which five people have died. The victims were all elderly citizens who had a history of chronic illness, including diabetes, hypertension and stroke.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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