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Flu cases hit official epidemic level

Vaccination is recommended for vulnerable people such as the very young and the old. Keystone

Flu season has hit Switzerland, with babies and children under five the most affected, according to latest figures from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). 

This content was published on January 16, 2019 - 17:12

In the second week of January, 144 doctors in the Sentinella tracking project recorded an average 15.5 out of 1,000 medical consultations for influenza. This translates to 121 cases per 100,000 people in the past week, meaning the epidemic threshold of 68 per 100,000 has been crossed, says the FOPH

An epidemic level has been declared for all age categories, except for the over 65s, where the rate is 64 cases per 100,000 people. 

The infectious illness is particularly virulent in the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino, according to the FOPH, and least severe in the cantons of Jura, Bern and Fribourg. 

Epidemics are recorded each winter in Switzerland, says the FOPH (link in French). Their length, the types of flu strain and their effects on the population can vary from year to year. Vaccination is recommended for those most at risk, especially babies, over-65s, pregnant women and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

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