Ministry reports on the epidemic of flu and say many people suffer from hypothermia as the temperature dropped below 0, yet Ukrainians become more conscious about their health condition.
Ukrainians began to care more about their health and seek treatment on time. This was stated by Tetyana Dyhanovska, head of the “Center of influenza and SARS” at public institution “Ukrainian Centre for disease control and monitoring of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine”, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Previously, 27 percent of people sought medical attention in the first three days at the beginning of the season, now 61 percent consult a doctor,” she said. However, vaccination rates are very low – 104,000 people, which is 0.2 percent of the population.
Influenza and SARS
Doctors predict that flu and SARS activity will increase in mid-January. It decreased in schools over the Christmas holidays and vacations. In the first week of the year 250,000 fell ill, half of them – children. Six deaths were recorded, including one child. Since the epidemic season started on October 3, 2016, a total of three million people have been ill with influenza and SARS, 18 people died. “In the reporting week, we observed a reduction in the incidence among children and adults by 23% and 38% respectively. Epidemic thresholds are exceeded in 13 regions, from 2.5% in Kherson to 58% in Cherkasy region. […] Influenza and parainfluenza viruses are distributed in equal proportions, 26% and 29%,” said Tetyana Dyhanovska. Influenza H3 seasonal virus predominates (77%).
As of the morning of January12, 869 people sought medical treatment because of hypothermia. 40 deaths have been recorded. The frequent reason was alcohol. There is a problem with the timely arrival of ambulances to remote areas. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, patients on hemodialysis are at risk. “If you have potential risks and you know that it may be difficult to get to healthcare facilities, you have to see to it in advance. Also, many calls are non-core, and then we lose someone’s life. You can do some things yourselves: take medicine, take some preventive measures, we have consultants who can give advice over the telephone as to what to do before calling an emergency assistance,” stressed Tatiana Timoshenko, head of the emergency medical care and disaster medicine unit of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine.
According to George Kozynets, Chief freelance Specialist of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine in specialty “Combustiology”, hypothermia is caused by the time spent outdoors rather than the temperature. “The temperature may be even 0 degrees. What matters is the time you stay outdoors, the wind, the humidity, your overall condition,” he explained. With hypothermia, it is important not to rub a person with snow, not to put in hot water and / or on the radiator, it is necessary to apply a thermally insulated bandage – a scarf or a handkerchief – which can warm up, and immediately seek medical attention.