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).
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 FOPHexternal link.
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 FOPHexternal link (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.