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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New measures for novel influenza

  • [01] New measures for novel influenza

    A new package of measures for coping with an anticipated outbreak of A/H1N1 novel influenza (also known as swine flu) was announced by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos in a press conference on Wednesday, shortly after meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    Avramopoulos said that the health ministry was stepping up measures and moving on from simply recording incidents to action for preventing the spread of the virus. He clarified that the emphasis will shift from the recording cases to assessing their gravity and likely complications.

    The minister explained that 90 pct of novel influenza incidents in the country have been fully cured and only a few required hospitalization and anti-influenza drug treatment. Regarding the administration of antiviral drugs, he stressed that their use for precautionary purposes was strictly prohibited and was recommended only in more serious cases, in order to avoid the development of virus resistance that would make them ineffective.

    Meanwhile, a total of 1,000 beds are already available in hospitals nationwide for patients that develop complications, while their number is expected to increase by September.

    Aside from infants, children suffering from long-term ailments, the elderly and the chronically ill - who will all be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available in Greece - other vulnerable groups include the obese, women in the second and third month of pregnancy, patients will weak immune systems and health sector personnel.

    Scientists are concerned that the novel influenza virus has similarities with the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918 that killed millions of people. Health ministry scientists underlined that the "pandemic waves are a shared characteristic of the two influenzas, a fact that calls for vigilance."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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