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Influenza reported at epidemic level in Uruguay

Montevideo, May 31 (Prensa Latina) Influenza is now at epidemic levels in Uruguay, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MSP).

Consultations for respiratory causes have increased during the last five weeks and, when compared with the historic incidence, the disease is “in the alert zone for acute respiratory infections and influenza-type diseases,” the Ministry reported.

The system is under stress due to the occupation of beds, including intensive care beds, according to the interim general manager of the State Health Services Administration (ASSE), Juan Ramón Blanco.

ASSE advanced the Winter Plan by which human and assistance resources are reinforced to cover the demand generated by respiratory infections with the arrival of winter.

Blanco indicated that consultations at the Pereira Rossell pediatric referral hospital increased “50 percent with respect to previous months.”

So far in May, there have been 15,000 consultations. According to educational authorities, almost 8,000 schoolchildren are absent from class due to the disease. The ASSE director asked the population to adhere to the anti-flu vaccination. He explained that 315,000 people have been vaccinated, a little more than half of 700,000 doses available.

He mentioned pregnant women, those in the postpartum period, children between six months and five years of age and people over 65 years of age as priority groups.

“The vaccine prevents serious cases,” he remarked.