Since the start of flu season in October 2019, 2,768,000 cases across the country have been confirmed by laboratory tests, according to data from InfluNet published on January 19.

A total of 488,000 cases were reported last week alone, as flu season hits its peak.

Some 240 deaths have so far been reported, with most of the fatal cases being elderly patients who suffered complications after contracting the virus.

The Higher Health Institute (ISS) on Wednesday said that central Italy has been affected the worst by the flu.

Last flu season was the worst in 14 years, affecting some eight million people and killing 30.

Italy’s health ministry recommends vaccines the for adults and children with certain health conditions, anyone aged over 65, and pregnant women due to the increased risk of serious complications caused by the virus.

The flu vaccine is available free of charge in Italy.