Fourteen people died of seasonal influenza in Taiwan last week, bringing the death toll since last October to 74, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.
The 14 deaths included a 23-year-old office worker in central Taiwan, who died five days after he started having flu symptoms, making him the youngest flu fatality this season, CDC physician Lin Yung-ching said in a weekly report.
The patient, who had a chronic lung disease and blood disorder, did not seek medical treatment when he developed flu symptoms in mid-January, and he was rushed to the hospital emergency room when he went into septic shock and acute respiratory failure, according to Lin.
None of the 14 people who died last week of seasonal influenza had received the flu vaccine, Lin said.
In the week of Feb. 2, a total of 82,856 people sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals and clinics around the country, a decrease of 19.5 percent from the previous week, according to CDC statistics.
Of that number, 56 developed severe flu complications, bringing the number of such cases to 914 since Oct. 1, 2019, the highest in nearly five years, the CDC reported.
Most of the 914 people who developed severe complications were 65 years old and over, and 98 percent of them had not been vaccinated, while 80 percent had one or more chronic diseases, Lin said.
As of Feb. 9, there were 288,000 doses of government-subsidized flu vaccines still available, according to the CDC.