Hungarian health authorities declared swine flu epidemic at a national level on Wednesday, after the number of infections with the A (H1N1) virus increased by over 30% in one week AFP reports.

"We went over the minimum level: the flu epidemic started in Hungary", the country's chief-doctor Ferenc Falus. "Last week, 22,000 people came to the doctor showing flu symptoms. This is a 32% increase against the previous week", he declared.

According to the national centre for Epidemiology, a national epidemic is declared when 22,000 cases are reported in one week.

The centre announced that 172 patients are presently treated in the hospitals.

AFP notes that seven deaths following swine flu have been recorded so far in Hungary.

The Government in Budapest launched a voluntary vaccination campaign in October. 11% of the population has received the anti swine flu jab.