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Flu wave: Macroeconomic damage of up to 2.2 billion euros
The flu still has a firm grip on Germany. By the end of February, 38,455 influenza cases had been reported nationwide. According to the Influenza Working Group at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), another 12,000 people with the flu were added last week alone. According to experts, the peak of the current flu wave could already be reached.
The flu wave could have peaked The flu continues to spread - nationwide. Most new cases were registered last week in southern Germany (around 4,500 reports) and in eastern Germany (around 4,300 influenza cases). But there is still increased flu activity in all regions. By contrast, the number of respiratory diseases did not continue to increase, which experts say could be a first indication that the current flu wave has peaked.
The State Health Office in the Stuttgart Regional Council has already been talking about a slow decline. "The worst seems to be over," said regional president Johannes Schmalzl to the news agency "dpa". In Baden-Württemberg, 1,889 cases of flu were reported last week. This corresponds to the weekly maximum number since the beginning of the year.
High macroeconomic damage from the flu Economic researchers have calculated macroeconomic damage from the current flu wave of up to 2.2 billion euros. Gross domestic product (GDP) could decline by 0.3 percent due to the large number of illnesses, economic expert Torsten Schmidt from the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) told the news agency. In the calculation, the economic experts assumed that 20 percent of the population contract the flu and that they are absent from work for five days each. For comparison: In the last big flu wave in 2012/2013, 25 percent of the population was ill. (ag)
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