Public cautioned over flu threat during Chinese New Year holiday

Taipei--The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a public warning that incidences of seasonal flu are likely to increase around the Lunar New Year holiday when people travel to be with their families or go on vacation.

Although at present there have been fewer flu cases recorded than in previous years, the situation could easily worsen during the holiday period, according to the agency.

The CDC estimated there could be as many as 25,000-26,500 hospital visits for flu-related symptoms from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.

Since July 1 last year, Taiwan has reported 282 flu cases in which patients suffered severe complications, the CDC said, adding that the H3N2 virus has been the dominant strain.

To meet increased demand during the Lunar New Year holiday, the CDC said, it is collaborating with 86 hospitals nationwide to provide 933 appointment blocks at different facilities for patients.

The CDC urged members of the public to get flu shots as soon as possible, as this is still the best measure to avoid seasonal flu.

According to the CDC, senior citizens, young children and anyone with chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic renal disease or diabetes, are at a higher risk of flu-related complications, including pneumonia and bronchitis, which in extreme cases can be fatal.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel