Disaster Yet? Greece’s Flu Death Toll Rising, Hits 56

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS – With Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis saying people dying from the flu in Greece isn’t “a disaster,” the toll has jumped to 56, after an additional 17 deaths between Feb. 4-10, most said to have been people who didn’t get a flu shot.

That was the tally released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) which said the deaths occurred even though 49 of the victims were being in intensive care units but couldn’t be saved.

There have been 226 serious cases reported with 219 treated in ICUs, the agency said, and only 29 of them had been inoculated. The average age of those treated in ICUs was 58.

The union of union of Greek hospital workers, POEDIN,  said the numbers are likely higher and disputed KEELPNO’s data, with fears it could keep mounting during the dangerous mid-winter period for the disease.