The Minsk health authorities expect the number of cases of influenza and other acute respiratory infections to reach epidemic levels in the city in a week or two, Alena Fisenka, a departmental head at the city center of hygiene and epidemiology, told reporters on Wednesday.
The official said that the Minsk authorities would introduce certain measures if another flu outbreak hit the city.
The number of new registered flu and cold cases in Minsk rose last week and continued increasing on January 18 and 19, according to Ms. Fisenka.
Roughly 19,500 cases of flu-like illnesses were diagnosed in Minsk between January 11 and 17 compared with 12,700 in the previous week. As many as 365 people were hospitalized last week. Around 4,000 more flu and cold cases were recorded on Monday and Tuesday, with some 60 patients taken to hospital. Ms. Fisenka said that most of the patients had been sickened by non-flu infections.
Minsk was hit hard by what World Health Organization experts described as an outbreak of the A(H1N1) virus, also known as swine flu, in October and November 2009. Less than one percent of all flu patients developed pneumonia.