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Health Minister Pintea: 'Flu epidemic acknowledged, intense virus circulation expected in February too'

Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea
Sorina Pintea ministrul sanatatii

Romania is facing a flu epidemic, as the flu activity has continued for the third straight epidemic week, Health Minister Sorina Pintea said on Wednesday, adding that the circulation of the influenza virus will be intense in February too.

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"Yes, the epidemic has been acknowledged, as there has been the third epidemic week. The flu activity is country-wide, although at different intensities. Fortunately, this flu disease is caused by a strain with mild to moderate severity symptoms. The strain is included in the vaccine acquired by the Ministry of Health and in Romania's vaccine stocks. (...) Experts estimate that intense virus circulation will continue in February too," the Minister said at a press conference.

Sorina Pintea explained that the Health Ministry's goal is to reduce the number of severe cases and deaths from influenza.

According to the Minister, an additional 30,000 doses of vaccine have been ordered for the population at risk, which will be distributed starting Thursday to the local public healthcare directorates that have applied for the vaccines.

"A set of additional recommendations have also been issued: the effective limitation of visitor access to all health care facilities has been required, especially in the units at risk, the urgent restocking with necessary antiviral medication for the treatment of acute respiratory infections, ordering antiviral therapy immediately after hospitalization for all patients who display the influenza specific clinical picture, prophylactic antiviral treatment for the contacts of hospitalised patients, the urgent vaccination of the still unvaccinated medical personnel, resupplying the protective equipment and proper use thereof, urgent restocking with antiseptics and disinfectants for ensuring the rigorous hygiene of hands and surfaces. Today, the National Public Health Inspectorate will provide health care facilities with a reminder of the procedures for dealing with contacts, outbreaks and severe flu cases," the Minister said.

AGERPRES .

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