The annual flu season has arrived in Denmark earlier than usual, indicates the increasing number of patients with influenza registered by Statens Serum Institute (SSI).
“The incidence rate is still low when we look at how many people are seeking a doctor with flu-like symptoms,” Tyra Grove Krause, a chief doctor at SSI, told Kristeligt Dagblad.
“But the number of people diagnosed with the flu has doubled.”
According to Krause, this may be the first sign that the virus is slowly spreading in the country.
Dangerous for the elderly
In Denmark, an influenza season typically starts in January or February, and this early outbreak suggests the season will last longer this year.
From the tested samples, it is clear this year’s predominant flu type is influenza A H3N2, which is particularly hard on the elderly.
Between 1,000 and 2,000 Danes die of the flu virus during a typical season.
However, available vaccines provide effective protection against this particular subtype, assures Krause.