A wave of influenza continued to spread in Germany. Economists said on Wednesday the epidemic could cost German economy billions of euros as it forced more and more people to rest in bed.
Until the end of February, 38,455 cases of influenza had been reported across Germany, according to Robert Koch Institute.
The flu could not only fill hospitals with increasing number of patients, but also hurt German economy, economists from Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Economic Research Institute (RWI) said.
The gross domestic product (GDP) would decline by 0.3 percentage point, or about 2.2 billion euros (US$2.44 billion), in the first quarter due to the epidemic, according to RWI's calculation.
"Influenza is among the diseases that have a relatively large economic effect because many people get infected and many workers are on sick leave. There is less consumption and production," Torsten Schmidt, a RWI economist, was quoted by the Die Welt newspaper as saying.
By Ruchi Singh
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