Netherlands declares mild swine flu epidemic
The Netherlands declares mild swine flu epidemic Friday after number of people infected with the virus continues to soar.Amsterdam – A mild swine flu epidemic has been declared in the Netherlands, announced the national institute of public health and environment (RIVM) Friday.
For two consecutive weeks in October, 69 out of 100,000 people were down with the A(H1N1) virus, revealed weekly figures compiled by GPs.
In Netherlands, the declaration of a mild epidemic applies to any flu that affects more than 55 people in every 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks.
In the past week, an average of 10 people per day has been diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus in hospitals.
The number of patients infected with the A(H1N1) virus will be declared later today, reported Trouw.
During a regular flu epidemic, 30 to 40 percent of all patients who visit the doctor with flu-related symptoms actually have flu. From 5 -11 October, 15 percent of those who went to the GP suffering from flu symptoms were infected with the A(H1N1) virus. The other patients were suffering from a serious cold.
According to de Volkskrant, experts are in the midst of discussing whether the term ‘epidemic’ applies at this stage.
Experts say the epidemic may appear more serious than it actually is because the widespread publicity about the swine flu may have led to larger numbers of people seeing their GPs than would otherwise have been the case.
While no conclusions have been reached, experts expressed the need to be more careful and concern about the virus.
The Netherlands will begin swine flu vaccination in the second week of November.
A 14-year-old girl and 40-year-old man were the fifth and sixth patients to die after contracting swine flu, reports the RIVM on its website. This brings the number of people who have died from the virus to six.
The teenager was said to be healthy while the man had underlying health problems.
Worldwide, 5,382 people have died from the disease, according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.