Bulgaria’s Plovdiv district appears on the verge of an epidemic of influenza, with the number of cases in Dobrich and Stara Zagora also on the rise, with health authorities warning that the annual wave of flu has come to the country about a month early this season.
In the Plovdiv district, the number of diagnoses of flu is at a rate of about 171 out of 10 000, meaning that the figure has doubled in the past week.
However, an official pre-epidemic situation would be declared only once results from the national laboratory in Sofia are confirmed.
Twenty people were admitted to the infectious diseases clinic in Plovdiv with more severe forms of influenza. They were under constant medical supervision.
This past holiday long weekend, more than 100 people sought medical help because of high temperature, the emergency medical centre in Plovdiv said.
Bulgaria’s chief state health inspector, Dr Angel Kunchev, said that the wave of influenza had come about a month earlier than expected this year. Most registered cases to date were of the Hong Kong strain, he said.
The flu wave was likely to hit all regions of Bulgaria by the end of January, he said.
The illness had an abrupt onset, with symptoms including high fever and severe headache, accompanied by a feeling of weakness. The illness usually lasts two or three days, but residual effects such as cough and fatigue sometimes continue for a further week.
There were increased incidences of cases in Haskovo, Gabrovo and Vidin, while in Sofia, the number of influenza patients was slightly above average.
Kunchev advised patients to stay at home to avoid complications and to protect others from infection.
(Photo: Paul Barker/sxc.hu)