Flu epidemic begins in Latvia

The incidence of influenza in Latvia continues to increase, reaching the epidemic threshold level. Therefore, from Friday January 12, the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) is declaring an epidemic of influenza in Latvia.

The SPKC said in a statement to the media that the proportion of positive samples of the flu virus rose 10.3% last week and there was a marked trend of an increase in morbidity.

Last week, a total of 773 patients had approached general practitioners involved in monitoring with acute symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, 56 of whom were diagnosed with influenza based on a typical clinical picture (a week earlier, 44 patients).

The highest incidence of influenza was recorded in Ventspils (411.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), Gulbene (124.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), Daugavpils (95.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), Riga (87.7 per 100,000 inhabitants).

The most commonly affected are children 0-4 years of age.

The SPKC stated that despite the start of the flu epidemic, vaccination is still recommended as the flu epidemic usually lasts 10 weeks, while vaccination-induced immunity builds within 10 to 14 days. So a person can benefit from vaccination even if they haven't received it by the start of flu season.

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