NICOSIA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Four people have died in Cyprus so far from type A influenza which is spreading fast in the eastern Mediterranean island, medical authorities said on Friday.
The Health Ministry said in a statement that another 25 serious flu cases were recorded, with a 30-month-old girl being treated for a serious condition.
It said that three of the patients who died had been high risk people suffering with chronic ailments and the fourth was a 20-month baby boy.
Though the ministry urged the population not to panic, it announced that a meeting of specialists will be held on Monday to suggest measures to contain the epidemic.
It also called on people to vaccinate even now, to apply measures of personal hygiene, avoid contact with ill people and being in confined spaces.
It is believed that the epidemic spread from Greece where several thousand Cypriots travel to and from each day. Greece and other countries in the Balkans, including Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia have announced scores of deaths.
A ministry official said that influenza breaks out every winter, but what was different this year was that it spread early and fast, probably as a result of a more than usual rainy and cold winter