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In total, 1,902 new influenza cases and 2,566 COVID-19 cases were added this week

In week 52, a grand total of 6,894 people fell ill with acute respiratory infections. Overall, 34% of all of the new cases involved children. In total, 1,902 new influenza cases were registered, with 2,566 new COVID-19 cases also being added.

The number of new influenza cases continues to grow, but the rate of increase has slowed. Across the past week the number new influenza cases which were confirmed by laboratory testing have increased by 14%. The number of people who sought medical attention due to acute upper respiratory tract infections increased by 33%.

Based on information which had been logged during a targeted survey of acute upper respiratory tract infections (with this survey being known as ‘Sentinel Monitoring’), the incidence of infections is intensive, revealing the fact that the influenza virus is spreading widely. Influenza A cases form 53.8% of all of those Sentinel Monitoring samples which have been analysed.

The share of RS viruses increased in comparison with last week’s figures, forming 15.4% of all Sentinel samples analysed. Infection cases still primarily involve children up to the age of four. Metapneumovirus cases form 9.6% of all cases.

According to the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, seventy-four patients were hospitalised last week due to influenza. Based on detailed information from the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, as many as 220 people have been hospitalised within the last two weeks. Since the beginning of the season, a total of 380 patients have been hospitalised due to influenza. The majority of those individuals who have required hospital treatment have been elderly people.

In total, 2,566 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the week. There was no significant change in the number of registered cases compared to figures for last week. The number of outbreaks which have been registered in social welfare institutions has increased after the conclusion of the festive period: there were six outbreaks in total, and 121 infected individuals. The number of new cases has increased due to the higher number of visits to such institutions by friends and family during the festive period.

As of Wednesday morning, a total of 220 people were in hospital due to COVID-19, of which eighty-five required treatment due to the presence of symptomatic COVID-19. This week saw nineteen deaths being added to the overall total. Those deaths involved individuals who were aged between 67-94, and all of those individuals had serious underlying illnesses. 

The spread of various respiratory viruses continues to grow. The load on hospitals is expected to increase by the end of January or at the beginning of February.

Recommendations for anyone who contracts a viral infection:

  • If you are ill, stay at home.
  • Only visit individuals who are included in any of the risk groups if you yourself are healthy.
  • If you are unsure, get tested.
  • If you fall ill, get in touch with your family physician or call the family physician advisory line (1220).
  • If you are included in any of the risk groups, avoid crowded places or wear a mask in such places.
  • Get vaccinated if you have not yet done so.
  • Observe general hygiene rules.