NEWS

Swine flu infection rate said to be rising

Health experts on Monday called on members of vulnerable social groups such as the elderly, children and those with underlying illnesses to get their flu jabs, noting that the rate of infection with swine flu, or H1N1, is still rising.

A total of 99 people with symptoms of swine flu have died so far this year although virtually all these cases are believed to involve patients who already had serious ailments. Another 127 people are in intensive care after displaying symptoms of the H1N1 virus.

Officials at the Center for Infectious Diseases Control (KEEL) say the figure for infections, and deaths, are likely to rise over the next three or four weeks. According to some estimates, fatalities could increase by more than 50 percent, exceeding the 149 deaths linked to swine flu last year.

Many experts note that the incidence of infections with the H1N1 virus is more «concentrated» this year. According to Athens Medical School Professor Apostolos Armaganidis, there are no fewer than 125 patients with swine flu symptoms in intensive care these days. The figure was 70 this time last year.