Zagreb Clinic in Extraordinary Situation Owing to Influenza Outbreak

By 17 January 2019

Owing to the current influenza epidemic, the Zagreb Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Fran Mihaljević" is currently experiencing an extrarodinary state of affairs, with patients needing respirators and oxygen, and even some dying.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of January, 2019, over the last 24 hours alone, four people with severe lung inflammation have been received and a total of eighteen are needing to be treated with respirators. There are hundreds of people arriving from all over Croatia, and the flu season hasn't yet reached its peak.

According to the Croatian Institute of Health, five people have died of flu, and 8,460 are currently sick enough to need treatment with this common yet potentially deadly infectious viral illness.

The Zagreb city office for emergency situations has called a media conference of the Dr. Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases, at which journalists will have their questions answered and be further informed about the depth of the current situation.

The aforementioned Zagreb clinic's press conference will be held on Saturday, the 19th of January, 2019, at 10:30 in the meeting room of the administration building of the clinic in Zagreb. The topic of the conference will be the significant increase in the number of patients with severe influenza and lung inflammation hospitalised at the Dr. Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases.

The head of the Institute for Intensive Medicine confirmed to Index that the situation at the Zagreb clinic has become overwhelming.

"People suffering from all over Croatia are coming to us. They're all on mechanical ventilation, there are currently eighteen patients,'' Kutleša said.

"From December the 30th until today, 26 patients with severe lung inflammation have been admitted to the clinic, except one who had bacterial meningitis. These were also complications caused by influenza. All of them either were or are still on mechanical ventilation, or on respirators,'' Kutleša explained.

As many as ten patients needed to be given oxygen when a respirator was insufficient, there were also deaths that followed.

"A patient who had lung inflammation passed away. All of the patients, including her, are between the ages of 40 and 60. Our ECMO team even went all the way to Mostar to deal with one patient who was about 40 years old. We'd especially like to thank the ministry that has provided us with eight additional respirators and two ECMO devices,'' stated Kutleša for Index.

"This situation is dramatic. We haven't had an epidemic like this since 2009. When H1N1 prevails, to the degree it has this year, it's always awful. We had another difficult year between 2009 and 2019, but it wasn't this hard,'' Kutleša says, adding that people can still get vaccinated against flu.

"It's too late for those who have already caught flu," Kutleša added.

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