Communicable diseases overview: in total, 243 new influenza cases and 1,740 COVID-19 cases were added this week
In week thirteen a grand total of 3,613 people fell ill with acute respiratory infections. Overall, 36.7% of all of the new cases involved children. The number of new cases increased by 17%. In total, 243 new influenza cases and a total of 1,740 new COVID-19 cases were added.
Based on initial information, 75.9% of all samples analysed were positive for influenza-type viruses. The influenza B virus dominates, forming 31% of all positive Sentinel samples. The percentage of parainfluenza samples formed 13.8% of all Sentinel samples to have been analysed. Rhinoviruses and SARS-CoV-2 both form 10.3% of all positive samples, while the influenza A virus, RS viruses, and the human metapneumovirus (hMPV) form 3.4% each.
In total, 243 influenza cases were registered. When compared to last week’s figures, the number of new influenza cases can be seen to have dropped by 21%. A total of 122 influenza cases were confirmed through laboratory testing, including fourteen influenza A cases and 108 influenza B cases. The Victoria sub-type of influenza B was the dominating virus. In total, 36.7% of all individuals who fell ill with influenza were children up to the age of fifteen.
According to information from the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, thirty-four patients were hospitalised with influenza. The number of influenza-related hospitalisation cases is fluctuating, but the main trend is declining slowly. Those who were hospitalised mainly include individuals over the age of sixty-five. In total, 1,191 people have been hospitalised due to influenza since the beginning of the season. A total of 69.4% of those individuals have been over the age of fifty. According to conclusively-validated information on the part of the National Institute for Health Development regarding causes of death, as many as sixty-one people have died due to influenza. Those individuals were aged between nine and 97.
In total, 1,740 COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the week. The overall number of registered cases and the percentage of positive test results both remain at a stable level. The spread of the virus is showing a growing trend amongst individuals up to the age of twenty-four and in those who are over eighty. Taking into consideration the increased number of new cases amongst schoolchildren and working-age people, the number of SARS-CoV-2 virus cases is expected slowly to increase in the next few weeks amongst the elderly. As of Tuesday morning, a total of 162 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, of which sixty-one required treatment due to the presence of symptomatic COVID-19. This week saw six deaths being added to the overall total, involving individuals who were between the ages of 68-87. All of those individuals had serious underlying illnesses.
Based on information which had been logged during the Sentinel targeted survey, infections are currently spreading at a moderate rate, with the spread of the influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses remaining extensive. The viruses will continue to spread in waves, without any significant drops or increases in the number of cases.