Taiwan public urged to take flu prevention steps as influenza spreads

Taiwan public urged to take flu prevention steps as influenza spreads

TAIPEI, Taiwan - According to the Centres for Disease Control, about 84,000 patients sought medical advice due to influenza-like symptoms last week.

Of the 84,000 patients who reported symptoms last week, 14 were confirmed to have the flu and were suffering from severe complications. One patient, reported to be a 91-year-old woman, was hospitalised on Jan. 29 with a fever and died on Feb. 4, due to the H3N2 flu virus, the CDC said.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said cases of flu have been continuing to increase due to the cold weather. There have been 873 cases of hospitalizations so far this year, with 45 among them seeing severe complications, Chuang said.

Chuang estimated that the flu is about to peak during the Chinese New Year. "Some hospitals and clinics will still provide services," Chuang said. Roughly 1,395 departments will provide outpatient services during the Chinese New Year at 141 medical facilities across Taiwan, he said.

Public-funded Influenza Antiviral Drugs Provided

In order to reduce the risk of death, the CDC has distributed antiviral drugs to more than 3,000 medical institutions, according to Chuang. Chuang suggested that people should visit a doctor immediately if flu symptoms develop, and take the drugs under a doctor's treatment.

More than 210,000 patients also sought medical help for symptoms of diarrhoea last week. The CDC estimated that the main cause of the viral gastroenteritis are rotavirus and norovirus.

The CDC said the public should pay attention to their personal hygiene, wash their hands and wear masks if they are suffering from flu-like symptoms. Don't stand too close while having a conversation and try to maintain a distance of at least one meter, the CDC advised.

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