This year's flu season is expected to be quite severe. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Doctors warning of bad flu season ahead

Swedish doctors are warning that this year's flu season could be worse than normal, Swedish Television reports.

Doctors in Sweden have been looking at how the flu season in the southern hemisphere has developed, as the prevalent strains of flu usually hit there first before hitting the northern hemisphere as winter arrives. Australia has had an intensive flu season, with swine flu the dominant form, and that could mean a bad season ahead in Sweden.

"I definitely think it will be worse than last year", medical officer Stephan Stenmark told SVT.

The season usually starts around Christmas in Sweden, with the peak in February. For most people the flu is generally not dangerous, but for risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant and infirm it can be problematic.

"I'm worried because there are lots of people that belong to the risk groups that haven't vaccinated themselves over the last few years", Stenmark adds, "vaccination is a simple procedure that can protect against something that can lead to quite a serious illness and hospital care".

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