Reassuring experts about the seasonal flu that came from the southern hemisphere and was detected due to tests for COVID-19. Vaccination is not urgent now, while EODY recommends personal hygiene measures. [A.P. Photo / M. Spencer Green]
Earlier than in previous years, an increased spread of the flu appeared in Hellas. As stated by EODY in a statement, increased cases of influenza have been detected during the current pre-epidemic period compared to previous years, mainly among young people in certain geographical areas of the country. Influenza “normally” shows seasonal variation, with a gradual increase in the spread of the virus from October to March.
However, Mrs. Maria Theodoridou, its president National Immunization Committee, emphasizes that there is currently no question of expediting flu vaccination. “There is a logic behind the timing of vaccination, which has to do with the duration of the vaccine’s action. We don’t want this action to end earlier and while the flu wave is ongoing,” he explains. However, it is estimated that this year the flu wave will be intense precisely because of the recession that occurred in the previous two years, due to the conditions imposed by the coronavirus.
Mr. Dimitris Paraskevis, vice president of EODY and associate professor of Epidemiology – Preventive Medicine, notes that the cases that have been detected in our country so far are not many and are partly due to the fact that more laboratory tests are being done due to COVID-19. At the same time, the low immunity and the large crowding on the islands due to the summer brought an increase in cases. In any case, the cases involve people under the age of 30 and have mild symptoms.
The dispersion is greater among young people up to 30 years old in some geographical areas of the country.
Mr. Gikas Majorkinis, assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine of EKPA, attributes the advance of the flu two months earlier than we are used to, to what is happening in Australia, where it is winter at this time of year, and flu cases have appeared. It should be noted that in the previous two years during the outbreak of the flu, there were lockdowns, so the spread of the cases was limited, but also the immunity of the people.
In the Cyclades
A few days before the 15th of August, “K” had pointed out with its report that “a flu epidemic is ongoing in the islands of the Cyclades”. As a doctor of the Paros Health Center had reported, during his duty the 45 cases were with flu or in any case they had a respiratory infection that was not COVID-19. The fact is attributed to the fact that Greece welcomed many tourists from the southern hemisphere, from areas where now at this time the flu is on the rise.
The EODY is expected to give a more detailed update next week in relation to the course of the flu and the number of cases, but points out that to prevent the spread of the virus in the community, personal hygiene measures and protective measures must be scrupulously followed, while vaccination remains the most effective prevention measure for the population.