So far winter has been mild in Romania. It did snow across the territory and strong wind was frequently reported, but with the exception of mountain roads situated at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, which normally shut down during the winter season, road traffic has been more or less as usual. Winter in Romania therefore stands within normal parameters, unlike the heavy snowfalls that have affected central Europe. The number of acute respiratory diseases reported by the population is also within levels, despite spiking slightly from one week to the next, the National Centre for the Surveillance and Control of Transmissible Diseases has announced. The total number of acute respiratory diseases, such as influenza, common cold or pneumonia, was 9% higher at national level as compared to the same period of last year. Right now there is no question of a flu epidemic, but rather a wider circulation of viral diseases, Health Minister Sorina Pintea has announced. While the number of cold-related deaths is small, below 10, one of the reasons for concern is the fact that some of the people who died to the flu were young people without a history of medical problems, but who hadn’t taken the flu vaccine shots. For this reason, the Health Ministry has again urged the population to take influenza vaccines, recalling this is the safest and most effective way to prevent people from getting sick. This statement follows a surge in anti-vaccine chatter on social media, which the authorities say is manipulating the population by circulating false information on the purported negative effects of vaccines, irrespective of their type. This year the Health Ministry has procured 1.3 million shots of anti-flu vaccine as part of its winter vaccination campaign. Until January 6, over 1.2 million Romanians from the population at risk had benefited from this campaign. The Ministry has pointed out that with the reopening of schools on Monday, the number of people getting sick could increase.