6 more die from flu complications in Taiwan this week

Over 99,000 emergency room visits were made due to flu-like symptoms

Vaccines are still publicly available (Image by Joint Base Andrews)

Vaccines are still publicly available (Image by Joint Base Andrews)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Tuesday that there have been six more deaths as a result of influenza infections over the past week.

Since the beginning of last week, over 99,000 emergency visits were made to hospitals and clinics due to people experiencing flu-like symptoms. 59 critical cases have been reported, and six people have died, writes Liberty Times.

A month-old infant male—the youngest recorded sufferer of the season, which began in October last year—was recently admitted to hospital and is undergoing treatment.

CDC Deputy Director Dr. Yi-jun Luo (羅一鈞)said the infant from northern Taiwan initially showed mild symptoms including coughing and a sore throat. More serious symptoms began appearing the next day, including myopia and pneumonia, resulting in the child fading in and out of consciousness.

He was immediately admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a strain of the H1N1 virus.

CDC representative Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said the child counted is one of 59 critical cases diagnosed over the past week. The age of sufferers ranges up to 97 years. 51 of those with serious infections have a history of chronic illness, the CDC reports, and 55 had not been inoculated.

The six who died ranged in age from 48 to 98. Five had not been inoculated.

Dr. Luo reminded the public that infants of 6 months are older are eligible for the flu vaccine. The doctor said only 80,000 vaccinations were given this season, a 20 percent drop from last season.

There are 53,000 doses left with another 89,000 to be delivered to hospitals prior to the 228 holiday weekend, he said, and encouraged citizens more susceptible to serious harm to consider vaccination.