Flu epidemic led to 800 more deaths

21st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — About 800 more people died in February than the month previously, with the higher number of deaths linked to the flu epidemic that raged across the nation, Statistics Netherlands said on Monday.

21 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — About 800 more people died in February than the month previously, with the higher number of deaths linked to the flu epidemic that raged across the nation, Statistics Netherlands said on Monday.

The statistics bureau, better known as CBS, said the higher number of deaths was primarily noticeable in the south of the country.

Almost 3,000 people died in the south of the Netherlands in February, about 600 more than that recorded in January and 600 more than the February average.

There was a marginal increase in deaths across the rest of the Netherlands, amounting to a nation-wide figure of 800 more deaths.

The higher numbers of deaths in the south occurred almost simultaneously with a flu epidemic. In the week 14-20 February, some 48 people per 10,000 were sick with the flu virus.

The number of deaths in the south peaked in the week 21-27 February, one week after the epidemic peaked. Research has indicated that there is a delay between infection and a resulting death.

Elderly people figured prominently among the higher number of fatalities in the south. In comparison with January — when there was an average number of deaths — the number of people aged 90 or more who died was almost 30 percent higher in February.

That figure fell to 25 percent for the age group 80-89 and 20 percent for those aged 70-79, the CBS said.

The number of deaths after the peak of the flu epidemic declined strongly in the following weeks. A flu epidemic is defined by 15 sick people per 10,000.

The National Influenza Centre (NIC) said on Friday that the nation was no longer in the midst of an epidemic. It said there were just 13 sick people per 10,000.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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