New 2,825 flu cases have been registered in the past seven days, an increase of
over 75 percent from the previous week and almost twice as much as the same
period last year. The total number of flu cases increased to 7,150, which is also
about 70 percent higher than the same period last year. The most affected are in
Strumica (around 1300) and Skopje (around 1200), in Gostivar over 800. There are
deaths, but there are patients that are seriously ill.
– By intensity, and by prevalence, the number of flu cases has experienced extensive
growth in the past week. We expected this and announced that it will grow in the
coming weeks, as in other countries in Europe. There has been an increase of about
30 percent over the average epidemic curve for the last nine seasons, said Dr.
Gordana Kuzmanovska, epidemiologist at the Institute of Public Health.
She added that the disease trend continues most in people aged 34 to 65. With the
exception of two small towns, Probistip and Demir Hisar, there are new cases of
cases across the country. Most of the cases are in Strumica and Skopje, and the
largest population is registered in Debar with 520 cases. The most affected age
group is children from 0 to 4 years, although the highest is for adults.
In terms of laboratory diagnostics, Kuzmanovska said that the number of materials
sent to IPH is growing rapidly and that they are mostly positive for the influenza
virus, which, he said, proves that we already have an intensive circulation of the
virus in our area.
– Over the past week, of the 80 materials received from hospitals and health
institutions that send material to the Institute, as many as 61.3 percent were positive,
Type A 26 and Type B 23, respectively. So, we have a co-circulation of influenza A
and influenza B, Kuzmanovska said.
The increase in the number of patients compared to the same period last year is due
to the fact that this season began two weeks earlier. An exact number of seriously ill
influenza patients, he said, could not give and they should report to the Infectious
Disease Clinic and the wards where they are being treated, but that IPH is getting
test material from the seriously ill.
Regarding the threats of coronavirus, the Institute of Public Health in cooperation
with the World Health Organization will organize training and education next week for
healthcare professionals, especially infectious diseases and epidemiologists. There
will be ten trainings by the end of the month.
-Specialty teams will pass all hospitals on the obligation to update operational plans
for dealing with a pandemic of contagious diseases and certain emergencies, to
check if there is everything needed – isolation space, treatment for serious patients
etc., said Kuzmanovska.