February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece: 150% occupancy of children’s hospitals

Eight out of ten children at Hagia Sophia have tested positive for the flu. The director of the children’s hospital speaks of 150% occupancy of hospitals.

Athanasios Mikhos, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Athens School of Medicine and Director of the First Children’s Clinic, says:

According to the tests we do at Agia Sophia, 8 out of 10 this season have been positive for the flu. That is why children must be vaccinated, at least with concomitant diseases – respiratory, asthma, etc.

Regarding the prevalence of influenza, the professor points to very high rates. This is also explained by the fact that this year for the first time tests for influenza are carried out in pharmacies:

“Too many kids get this double test for flu-covid, they get diagnosed as outpatients, they talk a lot with their pediatrician and don’t even go to the hospital or doctor’s office, so these cases are not recorded anywhere. So the ΕΟΔΥ data is clearly very important.”

About the viruses that are currently circulating, the professor says that there is a constant stream of children with a mild form of covid. Despite the fact that experts feared the coexistence of coronavirus with influenza, they believe that the relationship of these infections is competitive:

In other words, where we see the flu, we don’t see the coronavirus, and vice versa. Viruses coexist in the community, but without co-infections.

For RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), says Athanasios Michos, there is not such a big explosion in Greece as abroad. There are serious cases that require hospitalization in the intensive care unit, but they are very few.

Asked if the coronavirus infection weakens the immune system and makes it vulnerable to other infections, Mr. Mikhos says that while there are large population-based studies currently underway, it seems that coronavirus infection makes a person susceptible to many other bacterial and viral infections. He explains that scientists have observed this in the past with other infections, such as the measles epidemic. newsbeast.gr.

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