Athens, January 14, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
There are 4 deaths from influenza in Greece and one of them is attributed to H3N2 type A flu virus. Yet for the majority of patients with severe flu symptoms in Greek hospitals the cause of their illness is the H1N1 strain, which might have mutated.
H3N2 type as well as Η1Ν1 (which prevails) are -at least partly- covered by this years vaccine. What worries the Greek Health Ministry is the fact that none of the 31 people hospitalized in Greece with influenza, was vaccinated. Another fact that worries the health authorities is the age of the hospitalized people: though generally influenza is tough for the elderly or for those with chronic conditions or for sick people who take immunosuppressant drugs, this year many of the people with severe symptoms of the flu are relatively young and otherwise healthy, and this puts them in the group of people who normally do not get vaccinated.
Except for the 59 year old man who died in Larissa hospital, all the others got sick from the H1N1 strain and this leads the authorities to the conclusion that the H1N1 strain might have mutated to a more aggressive form.