The flu epidemic started early in Europe, the authorities in the EU and the WHO warn against the coming winter. There is also growing concern over the emergence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), while covid-19 also remains a threat.
The European region is facing an increased spread of influenza and RSV. Together with covid-19, these viruses could have a major impact on health services and the population this winter.
This shows how important it is for vulnerable groups to get vaccinated against influenza and covid-19 and thereby protect themselves and others from infection, European Health Commissioner Stella Kiriakides, Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, wrote in a joint statement. Hans Kluge and Director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Andrea Ammon.
They note that influenza A and B viruses are already circulating in different parts of the region. Influenza A viruses circulate among all age groups, and especially among school-age children, but tend to cause severe illness primarily in older people and those with chronic illnesses.
They noted that more and more people are being admitted to hospital due to the flu and that the number of hospital admissions has been increasing since October. Almost half of patients admitted for influenza are over 55 years of age.
In the 23 countries where severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) have been reported, hospitalized patients were mostly diagnosed with type B viruses, with children aged four and younger most commonly affected, according to a statement released today.
They also state that covid-19 case rates, hospital and intensive care unit admissions and death rates are currently low compared to the previous 12 months, but this could change if new variants of the coronavirus emerge and the disease continues to spread. burdened the healthcare system.
For this reason, they continue to encourage the most vulnerable groups of people – the elderly, pregnant women, people with medical conditions such as heart disease, and healthcare workers – to get vaccinated against seasonal flu and covid-19.