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Hospitals here in Korea are reporting a surging number of flu patients, ahead of the peak
of the flu season in January and February. Doctors are warning the public to stay on
high alert to prevent outbreaks of the influenza virus, even if you've already had your annual
flu shot. Our Paul Yi reports. Here in Seoul, a local
medical clinic has been experiencing a sharp spike in patients suffering from high fevers,
chills and other flu-like symptoms. Freezing temperatures over the past few weeks
have exacerbated conditions for potential influenza infections, with young children
and senior citizens at the highest-risk of complications.
"Due to my severe condition, I collapsed. I couldn't even get up in the middle of the
The rapid rise of flu patients across Korea is expected to prompt health authorities to
issue a nationwide influenza warning soon. Korea is expected to boast the highest rate
of flu vaccinations in recent years with about 15 million people getting vaccinated this
winter. Even though annual flu shots remain the most
effective way to reduce your chances of infection, they don't guarantee protection from every
Doctors say it's also important to recognize flu symptoms from that of the common cold,
as the virus can leave your body vulnerable to secondary infections such as pneumonia.
"In the case of a persistent fever and worsening symptoms, you may in fact be suffering from
influenza. Since there is a chance of catching secondary pneumonia, it's best to first go
to a hospital and get diagnosed."
In addition to vaccines, strict personal hygiene is your next best bet in preventing the spread
of the influenza virus. Wearing masks when going outside is recommended
as well as frequently and thoroughly washing your hands with soap.
Paul Yi, Arirang News