The Netherlands is on the verge of a flu epidemic following a sharp rise in suspected cases since the New Year, according to health service research institute Nivel.
Nivel says there are now 87 people per 100,000 suffering flu-like symptoms, up from 36 a week ago. If the figure tops 51 per 100,000 for more than two weeks, it is officially an epidemic.
In two-thirds of cases, the flu is thought to be H1NI, or swine flu. By last week, 52 people had been hospitalised with swine flu and three had died.
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