Flu epidemic declared in seven municipalities

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The first death from flu complications. The elderly woman, who died in Šiauliai, was suffering from a number of chronic diseases and had not had a flu vaccination. It is believed that she contracted the disease from family members. Flu and other similar disease infection rates are rising around the country and seven municipalities have declared epidemics, lrt.lt writes.

The elderly woman in Šiauliai was the first casualty from the flu this season. Last season, the disease took 14 lives.

Six people are currently being treated for the flu in Šiauliai hospital. Across the country, the number of those hospitalised due to the flu is almost 200.

According to healthcare specialists, this year's flu strain is significantly more dangerous than last year's.

"This season we have a completely different flu virus in circulation. It is type A, which is specifically dangerous due to its complications, severity and has higher lethality. The A type virus is more inclined to changes in antigens than type B is," Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS specialist Asta Skrickienė says.

Infection rates are rapidly rising across Lithuania, which Panevėžys being the hardest hit. It is urged to adhere to strict recommendations in epidemic-struck areas.

A flu epidemic is declared once out of ten thousand residents in a municipality, 100 take ill, with a third of cases being the flu. Currently, the lowest number of those taken ill is in Šiauliai district. However, it is believed that infection rates will rise.

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