The winter flu epidemic in Switzerland seems to have passed its worst, according to latest figures from the Swiss Office for Public Health (FOPH). The number of sufferers nevertheless remains high.
Figures released on Wednesday show the number of influenza patients requiring treatment in the past week was an average 303 per 100,000 people.
Although this figure is still quite high – and infections remain widespread across the country – the numbers are down from last week’s peak of 351 per 100,000.
The trend is downwards or constant for all age groups except for children under 14. The 0-4 age group remains by far the most affected, with an average of 546 cases per 100,000.
Geographically, patient numbers fell across French-speaking Switzerland, as well as in the regions around Bern. Figures rose in the cantons of Basel and Aarau.
The trend also reflects the situation across Europe more generally, the FOPH said, where figures are improving after the flu season peaked in the past few weeks.
Epidemics are recorded each year, generally between the months of December and March (see graph), the FOPH writes in a fact-sheetexternal link (French). It recommends vaccination for those most at risk, especially babies, over-65s, pregnant women and those suffering from chronic illnesses.