Hospital visits for influenza-like illnesses fall
Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) The number of hospital visits by individuals with flu-like illnesses is on the decline, dropping to 56,049 in the week ending Nov. 18, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.
The figure was down from 68,564 the previous week, according to CDC statistics.
Based on the flu viruses identified by contracted labs over the last four weeks, influenza A (H3N2) was the most dominant type of flu over the past month, with respiratory infections continuing to spread amid sharp temperature fluctuations, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Kuo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) told a news conference.
From Nov. 14-20, there were 23 cases of serious flu complications, the CDC said. In 21 of the cases the individuals had not been vaccinated this flu season starting on Oct. 10 and 19 had a history of chronic disease.
There were five flu-related deaths during the week, all of whom were unvaccinated and had a history of chronic disease, according to the CDC.
One of the 23 serious cases was a 13 year-old-boy from northern Taiwan who had no underlying congenital disease and had not received a flu jab, CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said at the presser.
In early November, the boy was taken to hospital after developing a high fever, dizziness and nausea, where he was treated for a respiratory tract infection before being diagnosed with influenza A.
He has remained hospitalized since then to treat acute necrotizing encephalopathy, which doctors said was caused by virus-induced seasonal flu after showing signs of lethargy and limb movement disorder that led to dysfunctional behavior and personality changes.
Another seven-year-old boy was also confirmed as having influenza A and treated in an ICU ward for six days after developing a high fever, a cough and a runny nose with complications.
From Oct. 1 - Nov. 20, there were 158 cases with serious flu complications. Seniors aged 65 or above accounted for 63 percent of the total, including 19 deaths, and four cases involved children aged 0 to six, including one death, CDC data shows.
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