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Record high number of flu cases in Sweden

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11:24 CET+01:00
The number of flu cases reported in Sweden last week was at an all-time high, with some 100,000 simultaneous sufferers, according to estimates from the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet).

As flu season spreads across Sweden, the number of cases is on a steady rise.

Last week 416 lab-verified cases were reported, and 405 of these were seasonal flu A.

The figure had more than doubled from the week before, and was the highest number in one week since the institute began keeping tabs in 1993.

However, the verified cases are no more than a drop in the ocean compared to the real figure. Most people don't seek medical attention, choosing instead to simply remain at home.

"We usually calculate that when seasonal flu spreads, between five and fifteen percent of the population fall ill. I'm pretty convinced that during last week, around 100,000 people were more or less ill with flu," state epidemiologist Annika Linde, from the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control, told news agency TT.

It's still impossible to say whether the peak has been reached for this year's bout of influenza.

"But since it's this much, we ought to be nearing the peak," said Linde.

This year, the wave of seasonal flu came later than usual, and didn't really kick off until the end of January.

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