Flu Spreads Throughout Croatia

At the end of 2018 there were officially 1125 people registered with clinical flu, but at this moment there are more than 2000 patients, according to the National Center for Flu Warning Center.

Upward trend of illness during the 2018/2019 flu season is expected, and the highest number of influenza-related infections in primary health care ranged from zero (in Virovitica-Podravina, Zadarska and Vukovar-Srijem County) to more than hundred in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

The peak of the disease is expected in the next two weeks. At this moment, in Dubrovnik’s General Hospital visits to the patients are prohibited.

Seasonal flu vaccination – Croatian Institute for Public Health

Seasonal flu vaccination in Croatia began on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Influenza is an acute infectious disease caused by one of influenza viruses. Its onset is usually sudden, accompanied by symptoms such as headache, muscle and joint pain, cough, and high temperature (39-400C). The cough can often be severe and prolonged, while other symptoms withdraw within two to seven days. Vaccination is the best way to prevent flu.

Vaccination should ideally take place before the flu season, although even those who do not manage to get vaccinated before the beginning of the flu season may benefit from it even when the disease is already present in Croatia.
For this season, Croatian Institute of Public Health has procured 320 000 doses of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine. The quantity estimates were based on the last year’s response to calls for 2017/2018 season immunization.

Vaccination is recommended for:

persons aged 65 and over
residents of care and chronic care homes (regardless of age, including children)
patients with chronic diseases, especially diseases of the heart and lungs, including children, and those with impaired lung function and congenital abnormalities in particular
adults and children with chronic diseases of metabolism, chronic kidney disease, hemoglobinopathies and immune system deficiency
children and adolescents (6 months to 18 years) on long-term therapy with drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid (to avoid development of Reye’s syndrome with influenza)
close contacts (e.g. house contacts, including children, providers of home health care etc.) of persons who, despite recommendation, cannot have the flu vaccine (contraindication)
residential care and chronic care home employees
healthcare workers
pregnant women

Vaccination is free of charge (by decision of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund) for:

persons older than 65 with health insurance
patients with chronic diseaes (heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, transplanted organs)
healthcare workers

You can have flu vaccine at your GP practice or at your regional public health institute. Read more here.