An influenza epidemic has been declared in Bulgarian capital city Sofia as of January 23 2014, the regional health inspectorate said.
The declaration follows the declaration of a flu epidemic in the Sofia region – a dozen surrounding municipalities with the exception of Sofia municipality – from January 21 for seven calendar days.
But unlike Sofia region, where schools will be closed, it appeared that schools in the capital city will not be closed.
This is according to Vanya Krasteva of the chief metropolitan education inspectorate, who said on January 22 that for the moment schools were not be closed, but added that this situation could change.
Earlier, Bulgaria’s chief health inspector, Dr Angel Kunchev, said that the health ministry had submitted a proposal to the education ministry that schools in Sofia be closed for the duration of the “flu vacation”, a period of a week.
The flu epidemic in Sofia was declared after the rate of infection from January 13 to 19 in the capital city was registered as 189 out of 10 000 population, with the rate of illness rising.
While Kunchev said that the education ministry, as a rule, complied with health ministry requests for closing of schools, Krasteva said that school heads had not reported the 30 per cent rate of illness at schools required to order the suspension of classes.
Closure could happen in the case of individual schools where the threshold was surpassed, Krasteva said.
In Sofia, other standard measures will be in force. This includes the suspension of scheduled operations and of medical consultations for children and pregnant women at hospitals.
Bulgarian media said that other places where flu epidemics were likely to be declared included Vratsa, Montana, Stara Zagora, Yambol and Rousse.
(Photo: Paul Barker/sxc.hu)