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Dutch News
Flu epidemic approaches 3/1/2007
AMSTERDAM – Virologist Ab Osterhaus of the National Influenza Centre (NIC) in Rotterdam announced on Tuesday that the number of people suffering from flu went up again this week.

Surveys by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) showed last week that the Netherlands was on the brink of an official flu epidemic.

Last week 51 in 10,000 people reported to the doctor with flu symptoms. A flu epidemic is declared if that number reaches 60 in 10,000. NIVEL will announce updated figures for this week on Wednesday.

Osterhaus says the most common strain of flu at the moment is the H3N1 variant. This year''s flu vaccine was designed to counter this strain.

A spokesperson for the Flu Survey said on Tuesday that internet surveys last week showed that the number of flu cases had already reached epidemic levels in the eastern and western regions of the country.

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