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Epidemiological alert for influenza (flu) in Romania

January 2023 – On 5 January 2023, Romania’s Ministry of Health issued an epidemiological alert for influenza (flu), following the entering into force of Instruction no. 161/2023 [1].

Why?

This decision was taken given the increase of the number of influenza cases in Romania, which exceeds the average number of the previous five seasons.

In this respect, the Ministry of Health issued a series of measures and recommendations for health units/hospitals, employers, educational institutions and the general population.

While the preventive measures for health units and educational institutions are mandatory, the Ministry of Health issued only recommendations for employers and the general population. Thus, no direct sanctions exist for not observing the recommendations.

Recommendations for employers

The following recommendations were issued for employers in all sectors of activity:

  • avoid crowding in work spaces, if possible;
  • use of protective masks, if crowding cannot be avoided;
  • carry out a daily epidemiological triage and recommend voluntary isolation at home for those detected with respiratory symptoms;
  • encourage influenza vaccination of staff.

Employers should inform employees about the new influenza (flu) epidemiological alert and should follow the above recommendations and apply the health- and safety-related measures to minimise the risk of infection in the workplace, thereby protecting their employees.

Recommendations for the public

We mention the following relevant recommendations for the general population, similar to the Covid-19 pandemic prevention recommendations:

  • seek consultation with a family health care provider in the event of respiratory symptoms;
  • respect cough and sneeze etiquette by using a disposable handkerchief;
  • maintain adequate hand hygiene, in order to reduce the spread of the virus;
  • avoid crowds, ventilate closed spaces and wear a protective mask;
  • continuation of influenza vaccination, especially for the population exposed to an increased risk of illness or complications from influenza, i.e., people over 65 years old, pregnant women, immunosuppressed people, and people with chronic respiratory or cardiac diseases.

[1] Instruction of the Ministry of Health no. 161/2023 regarding the establishment of the state of epidemiological alert determined by influenza, published in the Official Gazette no. 15 dated 05.01.2023.

Catalin Roman Senior Associate
+40 21 307 1619
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