Sweden hit by flu outbreak

An unusually high number of people are sick with flu in Sweden at present and the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (SMI) warns that those in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, could die.

"It is very high right now - and it will be even more. The peak for infection is likely to be over the new few weeks," says Hélène Englund, an epidemiologist at SMI.

Last week, the number of confirmed cases (625) rose substantially, compared to the week before. Meanwhile, the number of calls to medical advice lines , and the number of online searches on flu and flu symptoms at local health centres also increased, reports news agency TT.

Meanwhile six people have died from the swine flu virus.

Mortality figures for 2011/2012, show that almost 1,000 Swedes died because of flu. People age 85 and older were particularly hard hit. Three of four flu deaths hit this group.