Flu deaths rise to 70

The number of people who have died of flu-related causes has risen to 70 since the start of the flu season, data published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) showed on Tuesday.

KEELPNO said that a total of 208 people have been hospitalized after contracting the flu and 53 patients are currently under observation at intensive care units.

The center noted that the majority of victims had not received a flu jab and suffered from other chronic ailments that exacerbated their condition.

"The difference this year compared to last is the prevalence of the H1N1 strain of the flu virus," KEELPNO President Jenny Kremastinou told Kathimerini. "This strain is more virulent that the H3N2 strain that prevailed last year.

"The virus also appeared two to three weeks earlier than it did last year," Kremastinou added. "And once more it found the majority of those who are at the greatest risk of infection uninoculated."

Kremastinou said that KEELPNO estimated that just 30 percent of the high-risk population has received a flu jab this winter.