Flu season is underway in the Netherlands

Today, the healthcare institute Nivel announced that for the first time this winter, the “flu epidemic level” of 58 people out of 100,000 people has been exceeded, RTL Nieuws reports

Nivel reports that the current rate of reported flu cases is 79 out of 100,000, well above the  “flu epidemic level”. If the rate of reported flu cases stays above 58 out of 100,000 for two weeks in a row, then medical professionals will define it as a “flu wave”.

Most people who have the flu don’t go to the doctor

These figures do take into account the fact that most people who have the flu will not go to the doctor- Nivel estimates that for each person who goes to the doctor with the flu, eight more will stay at home.

Probably not an epidemic

Janneke Hendriks, spokesperson for Nivel, says that there is every possibility that the number of people with the flu will drop again next week, and emphasises that we are not currently experiencing an epidemic.

The ways the flu is transmitted

Although any sane person would want to avoid the flu, it is notoriously hard to prevent if you are around other people with it. People are usually contagious before they start showing symptoms, and the flu germs can be transmitted through sneezing, coughing, touching hands or objects.

How to prevent flu (there is no real way, sorry)

Some things that might help with transmission rates are ventilating rooms and, of course, regularly washing your hands (which Dutch people don’t do, so it’s hardly surprising that so many people have the flu at the moment). If you’re part of a vulnerable group, get yourself a flu shot.

Have you got the flu yet this year? Got any tips for getting rid of it? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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