Via Yle Uutiset: Cold temperatures may kick off flu epidemic.
Between the end of November and the end of this month only about a dozen cases of influenza were diagnosed in the Finnish capital.
According to Helsinki's City Epidemiologist Hannele Kotilainen, the slow spread of the flu can be in part attributed to unseasonably warm temperatures.
"The influenza virus does well in the cold, so when very cold temperatures arrive, the virus will spread more easily," explains Kotilainen.
Last winter's seasonal flu epidemic was at its height in late January and early February. Kotilainen believes that will happen once again this winter.
Hannele Kotilainen is urging anyone in a group at special risk who has not been vaccinated against the flu to get a jab now. This, she says, may well prevent a hospital stay later, possibly even death.
"Many people think that the chance to get a vaccination ends after Christmas, but there is still time. Once an epidemic is in full swing, it will no longer be worthwhile," she points out.