Latvia declares influenza epidemic

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared an influenza epidemic, with disease rates reaching 136.9 per 100,000 people in Riga last week, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Tuesday.

Other cities have been hit too. The disease rate in the whole country is 61.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Children aged 0 to 4 fall ill most often. 

Last week, a total of 131 patients were admitted to the hospital with influenza symptoms, and 25 of them experienced pneumonia as well.

During the epidemic, expected to last from eight to twelve weeks - the Center for Disease Control and Prevention asks people to take the following measures:

  • Try to limit your appearances in places with many people;
  • Dress warm;
  • Ventilate the house (let fresh air in);
  • Wash your hands with soap and follow personal hygiene procedures;
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Use disposable tissues, and after use discard them and wash your hands;
  • Don't use the same dishes or eating utensils that an influenza patient has used;
  • Rinse your nose and mouth with herbal tea or salt water when you get home, as these are the 'gates' of an infection.

People experiencing symptoms should turn to their family practitioner. During the epidemic, any influenza-related family practitioner visits are paid for by the state, and only require the patient to pay a €2.85 fee. This extends to all family practitioners and duty doctors.

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