H1N1-related deaths reach 27 in Greece

Deaths related to complications of H1N1 flu have reached 27 in Greece, with the virus showing heightened activity in the country over the past weeks according to the Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases (KEELPNO).

Fourteen new cases of the flu were reported on Friday and a total of 131 people have been admitted to intensive care with symptoms of H1N1 since the start of the year, of which 70 are still in an ICU. In the vast majority of the cases, laboratory tests isolate the A(H1N1) 2009 strain of the virus.

KEELPNO warned that the incidence of the virus will be increased in coming weeks.

"The flu can be severe, especially for people that belong to high-risk groups. However, a small percentage of healthy individuals may also present with serious complications," it said.

Given the higher mortality rate as a result of the disease it advised measures that include vaccination, with priority given to vulnerable members of the population and healthcare staff. KEELPNO stressed, meanwhile, that it was still not too late for vaccination. It also advised the public to observe strict rules of hygiene, especially of the hands, and a proper use of anti-viral medication according to the instructions of doctors, noting that this should begin as quickly as possible and possibly without first requiring laboratory confirmation.

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