The arrival of the flu this year threatens to become a “double problem” in Belgium, says virologist Steven Van Gucht.
As a fourth wave is currently being felt in Belgium, a flu outbreak would be very inconvenient for healthcare staff at the moment, he told the Belga News Agency.
“On the one hand, there is the Covid epidemic that has erupted once again. Soon, the flu will very likely come on top of that,” Van Gucht said. “Classically, it comes in January. But some years, it is already there in December and other years, it is later.”
The severity of the annual flu wave is difficult to assess, but Van Gucht reckons that this year could be a major epidemic. “That means it could be a double burden on hospitals. It is therefore twice as important to get vaccinated against the flu.’
“Last year, we were very lucky. For the first time in my career, we did not have a flu epidemic,” Van Gucht added. “That had to do with the strict measures.”
“Now it is different. Society is a lot looser and we can travel,” he said, calling on the population on Tuesday to get a flu vaccine.