In Friesland, the flu epidemic resulted in 37 percent more deaths in March of 2018 than in the same month in any of the previous 20 years.
The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics says that 734 deaths were reported in the province in March, which is the highest monthly total in at least 20 years.
There were 594 deaths in March in the province of Groningen and 554 deaths in Drenthe, both of which are also the highest number in that month since 2002. In Groningen and Drenthe, nearly 100 more people died in March 2018 than March 2017.
According to the Leeuwarder Courant, on the national level, the number of deaths was 23 percent higher than average in March. How many of those deaths can be attributed to the flu is not yet clear.
The Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment stated that the numbers of deaths has been elevated since mid-December and peaked between late February and mid-March. Temperatures were also unusually cold at both the beginning and end of that period, which resulted in more deaths of people over the age of 65.
The flu season, which lasted 18 weeks, technically ended in mid-April, but there may still be some cases of people who are currently sick or may fall ill.
Photo source: Wikipedia