February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Coronavirus: 149 additional deaths, first ‘kraken’ cases in Greece

According to the latest epidemiological report from the National Public Health Organization (EODY), six cases of a new sub-variant of the omicron (kraken) strain have been reported in Attica.

Four cases have been identified in the northern sector and two in the western sector of Attica.

In the week from January 2 to 8, the number of intubated patients reached 128, while in the previous week there were 119.

Sub-option XBB.1.5, dubbed “kraken”, began to spread rapidly in the United States. It then made its way to Europe, where it was found in 15 countries.

According to the latest data, the last sub-option XBB.1.5 is so contagious that everyone is at risk of contracting iteven if they have already been infected and fully vaccinated. Especially in those who have not recently been infected or have not received a bivalent booster vaccine.

Similar concerns were expressed by Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the World Health Organization, as XBB.1.5 appears to be the most contagious subvariant found. Of course, increased transmissibility does not mean that the symptoms caused by this strain are more severe than previous variants.

Currently, the symptoms of the infection are similar to those of earlier subvariants of strain Omicronalthough loss of taste and/or smell is less common.

Number of tragic deaths from coronavirus continues grow: per week from 2 to 8 January passed away 149 human.

The likelihood that a new sub-option will cause an acute epidemiological wave of COVID-19 infections in the community depends on many factors, such as the level of herd immunity, human activity, and measures to prevent transmission of the virus, such as the use of masks. Measures to prevent the transmission of respiratory viral infections are considered particularly important given the rising incidence of influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The data were summarized by Theodora Psaltopoulou (Professor of Internal Medicine, Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine), Yiannis Danasis, Panos Malandrakis, and Thanos Dimopoulos (Dean of the Kapodistrias National University of Athens) at the Internal Medicine Clinic of the Kapodistrias National University of Athens Medical School.

Influenza situation (regardless of pathogen):

  • there was a slight decrease in the community compared to the previous week
  • the decrease affected all age groups, with the exception of the age group 15-64 years, the SARS-CoV2 virus is a COVID-19 infection
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations up slightly from the previous week
  • the number of new intubations did not change significantly
  • the number of intubated patients with COVID-19 infection is 128.
  • 149 deaths were recorded with a mean age of 85 years (51 to 98 years).
  • BA.5 sub-variant is still the most common Omicron sub-variant
  • the percentage of subvariant BQ.1.1 shows an increase in relation to other subvariants of strain BA.5
  • among the BA.2 strains, the most commonly recognized subvariant is BA.2.75, followed by the XBB subvariant.
  • sub-variant XBB.1.5 detected in a total of 6 samples (3 of them were obtained by back-checking samples of sub-variant XBB from previous weeks)
  • surveillance of viral load in municipal wastewater showed an increase in circulation of the SARSCoV2 virus in 3 out of 6 areas tested.

flu virus

  • testing positive for influenza in the community showed a decrease
  • in the week of 01/2023, there were 7 new severe cases of laboratory-confirmed type A influenza involving ICU patients and 2 new deaths.
  • in total from week 40/2022 to week 01/2023, 36 people with influenza were hospitalized in the ICU and 9 deaths of patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza were recorded
  • in total, from week 40/2022 to week 01/2023, 221 samples were found positive for influenza viruses, of which 218 (99%) were type A strains and 3 (1%) were type B strains.
  • of 215 type A strains, 209 (97%) were classified as subtype A(H3N2) and 6 (3%) as subtype A(H1N1)pdm09

Respiratory syncytial virus – RSV

  • a positive result showed no significant change from the previous week in a mass sample in the community (non-sentinel samples).

EODY detailed report:



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