In most cases influenza is a benign illness but for elderly people, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, the complications of flu can be dangerous. Vaccination remains the best way of preventing the complications of flu and hospitalisation.
Influenza in Belgium
- 500,000 people on average are affected by influenza-like illness each year in Belgium, i.e. about 2% to 8% of the population.
- A moderate epidemic of influenza affects about 5% of the population (550,000 out of 11 million inhabitants).
- A more serious epidemic of influenza affects about 10% of the population (from 1,100,000 out of 11 million inhabitants).
- On average 1 person in 1000 cases of influenza develops complications requiring hospitalisation.
- More than 90% of deaths concern people of 65 years and over.