Flu claims 5 more lives: health official

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According to CDC, Five people died of seasonal influenza last week, bringing the flu death toll since October 2017 to 57. (Photo by CNA)

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Five people died of seasonal influenza last week, bringing the flu death toll since October 2017 to 57, a senior official at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.

In the week ending Feb. 10, a total of 111,541 people sought outpatient and emergency treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals and clinics throughout the country, said Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍), director of the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center.

During the period, 57 patients developed serious complications from flu infections, Liu said.

Among them, four females and one male died of severe respiratory complications, Liu said.

Four of the victims were infected with the B type strain of the virus, while the other died from the H1N1 virus, she said, adding that none of them had been vaccinated against flu.

The youngest victim was a 33-year-old female who showed no history of chronic disease, while the other four all had underlying conditions, she said.

The number of influenza cases may likely increase around Taiwan in the Lunar New Year holiday as people travel from place to place during the period, thus increasing the risk of spreading the virus, according to CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥).

Chuang urged patients suffering from chronic illnesses and those who have not been vaccinated to be attentive of their health.

People experiencing symptoms such as chest pains and shortness of breath are advised to seek immediate medical attention, he added.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin)

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