THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

WHO publishes update on influenza in Ukraine

Vaccines currently contain A(H1N1) and two other strains of seasonal influenza -- H3N2 and B. | File photo

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published an update about influenza rates in Ukraine.

Currently, influenza is circulating throughout Ukraine and areas of Europe. Several specific areas inside Ukraine have surpassed the epidemic threshold and even though the nation’s Ministry of Health has stated there has been a decline in activity, the leaders cannot determine if this decline will continue.

The main strain is the A(H1N1) influenza virus that was discovered in the 2009 pandemic. It is especially contagious to young adults and pregnant women. Since December 2015, there has been a rise in severe hospitalized A(H1N1) cases in Ukraine.

Vaccines currently contain A(H1N1) and two other strains of seasonal influenza -- H3N2 and B. The vaccine is recommended for people considered at risk, including children from 6 months to 5 years old, people older than 65 years old, pregnant women, health care workers, and people who are older than 6 years old and who have health conditions.

Hospitalized Ukraine patients with suspected influenza infections are typically treated with oseltamivir or zanamivir. It is important that patients receive treatments immediately, even before laboratory confirmation of the influenza infection.

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