There’s some bad news: a flu outbreak has begun in the Netherlands. So if you are having a sore throat, cold shivers and a fever, you might have the flu. But hey, at least it is not coronavirus.

The flu has been around for some time in the Netherlands, but it has now reached epidemic proportions, reports RTL Nieuws. Flu seasons are not uncommon during this time of year, last year it lasted for 14 weeks.

Flu epidemic

A flu reaches the level of an epidemy if after a period of two weeks 58 out of 100,000 people display flu-like symptoms and if at least 10 percent of people are diagnosed with influenza, according to a spokesperson from the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

As of now, 68 out of 100,000 people went to a GP this past week and displayed flu-like symptoms, with 40 percent of them having the influenza virus, thus making it an epidemic.

Monitoring stations and the “real” flu

In the Netherlands there are 40 specialized monitoring stations designed specifically for detecting the flu in people (recently, they’ve been used to test for Coronavirus). Not all flus are, however, the “real” flu. Influenza is the real flu, while the enterovirus, the RS virus and the rhinovirus have similar symptoms to it.

How can you tell if you have the real flu under the form of the influenza virus? Well, if you have a temperature of over 39 degrees due to a sudden outburst of fever, chances are that you might have it. The rest of the “fake” flus have symptoms such as runny noses, coughs, headaches, sore throats and the occasional fever.

Duration of flu season and how to avoid it

Flu seasons usually begins in the winter, around December or January, and lasts until the beginning of spring. On average, it lasts for 13 weeks, but last year it took 14 weeks until it ended.

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The virus is highly contagious, as it is located in the mucus and saliva of people, and can be spread very easily through sneezing, coughing or talking, or through hands or objects that have been touched by a contagious person.

RIVM advises that you ventilate your room or your car, and that vulnerable groups like children or the elderly should get a flu shot.

What helps you during flu season? Let us know in the comments.

Feature Image: stevepb/Pixabay

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