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Wave of flu infections to increase related deaths this year

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Wave of flu infections to increase related deaths this year
Photo: DPA
11:28 CET+01:00
The number of influenza-related deaths in Germany is expected to rise this flu season due a wave of infections more intense than years past, the head of the National Centre for Influenza at the Robert Koch institute Brunhilde Schweiger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

Flu infection rates are higher than they've been in the last three years as a flu epidemic has spread rapidly across the country in recent weeks, Schweiger told the broadcaster. She said the virus type is fortunately not more dangerous than other strains – it simply infects more people.

But Schweiger said concerned Germans shouldn't rush out to get a flu immunisation shot, because she expects the rash of infections to subside in coming weeks and immunisations don't take hold for at least two weeks. And anyone considering a flu shot should first consult a doctor, she said.

Last month flu experts said that nothern Germany had been the hardest hit by the dreaded virus this winter as it spread quickly throughout the region to leave a horde of groggy, achy and nauseous Germans in its wake.

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