Zika and the Flu

Zika and the Flu

Athens, January 30, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Olga Mavrou

Greek health authorities are concerned about the flu (29 deaths instead of 8 at the same period last year) and insist that all vulnerable groups should get vaccinated even now. Most of the fatal cases were caused by the strain H1N1 which is covered by the vaccine, but the majority of the people who died, did not get this season’s vaccine, either because they underestimated the flu virus or because some of them did not belong to the so called “vulnerable groups” . Vulnerable groups are considered mainly the seniors and persons with compromised immunity due to chronic diseases  and  other reasons. Scientist do not exclude the possibility that the strain became this year more virulent.

The Greek center for Infectious Disease, as far as it concerns the virus ZIKA, though no cases of infections are reported in the area, suggests some precautions to those visiting countries with numerous cases like those in South America, Central Africa and South Asia.

The disease is transmitted mainly with mosquito bites and the type of mosquito that transmits it is not found in Greece –at least not yet.  If other types of mosquitos start transmitting the disease, then more precautions will be needed.  There is no evidence yet that the disease is spread by any other way, nor that is it definitely connected to serious brain damage to the fetus of a pregnant woman