Nearly 300,000 cases of flu in Poland in one week of December

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Nearly 300,000 people fell ill with flu in Poland between December 16-22, a deputy health minister has said.

Waldemar Kraska also said that more 1,600 people are in hospital with flu and that one person has died.

"Influenza virus infections are dominant. In the last reported week, between December 16 and 22, 297,000 people fell ill or were suspected of being infected with the influenza virus," Kraska told Polish Radio on Tuesday.

He said that nearly half of them were children under 14.

More than two million Poles have had flu since September but, according to Kraska, its prevalence has not yet peaked.

Kraska said that despite flu vaccines being available, only around 695,000 Poles have been vaccinated against the sickness.

At the same time he announced that from now on referrals for influenza shots will be issued automatically for everyone.

The flu season in Poland usually lasts from October to May and vaccinations are recommended and administered throughout the autumn and winter seasons.