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The number of influenza cases recorded by doctors is on hold. The numbers that research institute Nivel has now been keeping up with have been around the same level for three weeks.
In 62 percent of the samples doctors took from patients last week, a flu virus was found in the laboratory of the Royal Institute of Animal Health (RIVM). This percentage is “typical of influenza epidemics in the Netherlands,” according to Neville.
The weekly sample of GPs consists of dozens of samples. In addition, there are about 45 practices in the country that record the number of people reporting “flu-like” complaints. This data is then translated into a larger group. According to a Neville report that surfaced Wednesday, 42 people in every 100,000 residents went to the doctor last week with flu-like complaints. This number is the same order of magnitude as in the previous two weeks.
Together with Erasmus MC, RIVM and Nivel, they officially announced on March 16 that there is an influenza pandemic. Normally, a flu wave would only deserve that name if 58 out of 100,000 people visited their doctor with flu-like symptoms for two weeks in a row, and at least 10 percent of those had the flu virus.
Thus, the current figures are clearly below the usual “epidemiological limit”. However, the institutes consider that there is an epidemic, because they estimate that fewer people go to the doctor with flu symptoms than the number of people who go to the doctor during previous flu waves. This has to do with the corona pandemic.
“Flu symptoms are very similar to those of the coronavirus and many people with flu-like symptoms will go to the street for a GGD test or self-test,” Neville explains.
The number of influenza cases began to rise after all Corona measures were announced. Since then, people have come in more and more contact with each other, which also gives other respiratory viruses more opportunities to spread.
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