October 30, 2023 11:52
Flu is spreading fast in Korea as temperatures drop, with cases surging particularly among elementary schoolchildren.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Sunday the number of flu cases per 1,000 outpatients from Oct. 15 to 21 stood at 18.8, up 21.3 percent compared to 15.5 the previous week.
The number had been decreasing since it peaked at 20.8 per 1,000 outpatients from Sept. 24 to 30.
It increased a whopping 58 percent among children aged 7 to 12 from 31.9 per 1,000 to 50.4 over the past week. Among 13- to 18-years olds, 39.9 were diagnosed, up 30.4 percent from 30.6.
The KDCA attributes the surge to falling temperatures and increased contact at school. A KDCA official said, "Viruses are more active in colder and drier seasons."
Also, the complete lifting of coronavirus restrictions has led to an increase in group activities, resulting in more contact between people.
The government says flu vaccine injections offer the most effective prevention. It recommends getting vaccinated as soon as possible before temperatures drop further, as it takes at least 15 days after an injection for antibodies to form in the body.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com