Czech authorities declare influenza epidemic, 12 deaths reported
The spread of influenza has been officially declared an epidemic. Over the past week, the number of reported cases jumped 22 percent to 1,865 per 100,000 inhabitants, nearly 400 cases above the epidemic threshold.
The Bohemia region is currently most affected, with the greatest number of cases recorded among elementary-school children. To contain its spread, many schools closed temporarily. Some hospitals have restricted or banned patient visits.
Twelve people have already died from complications from the flu. Doctors estimate that the number of influenza-related deaths at between 1,500 to 2,000 each year. Most who succumb are elderly and have existing conditions.