Romania’s health ministry declared a flu epidemic on Thursday after eight people died in one week, and the number of flu cases almost doubled in the same period.
The National Center for the Supervision and Control of Transmissible Diseases said there were 7,022 new cases in a week, up from 3,645 the previous week, and much higher than the same week a year ago, when there were 3,455 cases.
“Flu activity has developed with a high intensity and has spread nationally,” the center said.
It said eight people had died from the virus this week. A total of 18 people have died since the beginning of the season last year. There are far fewer deaths than last year when flu killed 94 people.
An 18-month-old child and a 49-year-old woman are the last two people to die. Both had other health problems and neither had been vaccinated against the flu.
Dr. Adrian Streinu-Cercel, the director of the Matei Bals Institute for Infectious Diseases, this week said that even people who had had the flu shot weren’t immune from getting the virus, although they are 80% less likely to contract it, than if they’d hadn’t been vaccinated.