On the Threshold of a Respiratory Disease Epidemic in the Czech Republic

According to health officials on Monday, the Czech Republic is on the cusp of a respiratory illness epidemic. Last week saw the number of acute respiratory diseases reach the epidemic threshold, with 1,700 cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants, marking an 8.2 percent increase from the previous week. The number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 is also on the rise.

The 50th week of the year saw an increase in illness rates for so-called influenza diseases by 18.2 percent and acute respiratory infections by 8.8 percent compared to the previous week. “These figures align with the season,” health officials said.

Currently, several respiratory viruses are causing acute respiratory diseases. The SARS-CoV-2 virus plays a significant role, but the capture of influenza viruses is also increasing, as stated by the National Health Institute (SZÚ).

The number of active COVID-19 cases is growing. About 24,000 people have confirmed infections, compared to 9,000 patients around the same time last year. Two years ago, when extensive testing was conducted, there were 170,000 cases.

About a third fewer tests are being conducted than a year ago, but the numbers of detected cases are higher. At present, almost 43 percent of tests conducted by health professionals on people with symptoms to diagnose are positive. Many people with symptoms, however, do not even go to the doctor and perform the test themselves at home. According to expert estimates, the actual numbers of infected people are about four to five times higher than those positively tested in official statistics.

The increase in the number of infected people is only slightly reflected in hospitals, with the number of hospitalized patients decreasing compared to the previous week. On Sunday, there were 770, down from 940 the week before. There are 55 people in serious condition in intensive care units. This number has not changed significantly since the beginning of the month. The number of deaths of people diagnosed with COVID-19 is in the order of single digits per day.