'Flu season to start soon

Even though the number of people with influenza remains low, medics have seen a small increase in the number of patients with the flu. Specialists expect that the flu season will start by the end of January, Raina Nikiforova, an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention told Latvian Television Thursday.

According to her, influenza is most common in Riga at the moment.

"There are several strains of influenza circulating now: the so-called Californian and South African [influenza]. It is special in that most often it's young people and children who catch it. The good news is that the vaccine available in Latvia works against the virus so there'll be enough of it for everyone," said Nikiforova.

According to her, prophylactic measures such as washing hands more often, letting fresh air in, watching your personal hygiene and strengthening your immunity should be taken now, and people should turn to a doctor when the first symptoms appear.

"Influenza is accompanied by high fevers up to 38-39C and even more. Other symptoms include strong headaches, sore muscles, cough... With such symptoms you should immediately turn to your family practitioner and remain home until you're healthy again," the epidemiologist said.

The first influenza patients this year have entered hospitals last week.

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