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New Year holiday may increase flu cases: CDC

TAIPEI--The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on yesterday urged people with poor immune systems to take precautions against the flu, as the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday could see a rise in flu cases.

CDC Deputy Director-General Lin Ting said at a press conference that 222 people were diagnosed with serious cases of the flu over the past week and four people lost their lives due to influenza viruses, indicating that flu activity remained high in Taiwan.

None of the four patients who died were inoculated against influenza, according to Lin.

Lin said the majority of the 222 people with severe flu symptoms were found to have been infected with the H1N1 virus, a flu that mostly affects young men and children, and he suggested that young people with flu symptoms should be checked into hospitals and clinics as soon as possible.

He also advised the public to wear masks when traveling during the Lunar New Year break so as to be better protected from being infected by flu viruses.

Fifty people have died of the flu since July 2010, the CDC said.

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