Flu wave: The number of sick people is increasing

Flu wave: The number of sick people is increasing

Interesting facts about the current flu wave
11.02.2015

There are currently many people in Germany with flu in bed. Fever, headache and body aches do not allow most people to go to work. Many wonder whether the flu wave will be particularly strong this year. Numerous questions are answered in a press report.

The number of flu diseases in NRW is increasing It was recently reported that the flu is on the rise in Bavaria. But other federal states are not spared either. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the number of sufferers has risen significantly. The "Rheinische Post" (RP) online has summarized a lot of interesting facts about the current flu wave. According to experts, the flu season lasts from the 40th calendar week of a year to the 15th calendar week of the following year. "Since we are currently in the 7th calendar week, it is quite normal for flu and cold viruses to be in circulation," explained Dr. Annette Jurke, Deputy Head of the Infectiology and Hygiene Section of the State Institute for Health and Work of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LIGA NRW) told the newspaper.

Vaccination no longer as urgent due to the approaching spring The reported numbers of influenza cases in the country confirmed this: “So far, 701 cases of influenza have been reported to us for the 2014/2015 season. Last year there were 287 cases and in 2012/13 there were 6262 cases, ”said Jurke. As the RP continues to write, vaccination is still generally recommended, but not as urgent due to the approaching spring. However, it should be noted that two weeks pass until the vaccination is fully effective and a flu outbreak can occur despite the injection. "However, it is said that the vaccination reduces the course of the flu, so it is still recommended," said the expert.

Vaccine does not work well this season Jurke is also responding to reports that the vaccine is hardly effective this season. "As it turned out, it is the case this year that two thirds of the influenza A viruses that are currently circulating are not covered by the component," said the infectious disease specialist. "At the same time, however, the influenza A virus, the H3N2 pathogen, is predominant this year." However, she says: "Vaccination is still particularly useful for risk groups, since it consists of more components." These include, for example chronically ill with basic diseases such as diabetes, asthma or cardiovascular diseases, the elderly or medical personnel.

Sneezing in the crook of the arm There are also more natural ways and means to protect yourself from an illness. Sneezing into the crook of the arm is a simple but very effective tip. "That sounds funny," said the doctor, "but it very effectively prevents the spread of viruses and bacteria." If you sneeze into your hands, you can spread the pathogens very easily afterwards. "In addition, you regularly touch your nose and eyes with your hands, which you can hardly prevent, and then the pathogens migrate into the body via the mucous membranes," says the expert. Regular hand washing and the use of paper handkerchiefs instead of cloth handkerchiefs are further tips for hygiene.

No more severe symptoms this year Even though neither the LIGA NRW nor the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) have information that the pathogens are causing stronger symptoms than usual this year, there are still some general practitioners who, according to the RP, have such effects to report. Basically, most people with influenza have symptoms such as respiratory problems, fever, body aches and headaches. In order to infect as few other people as possible, it is important to withdraw from the daily routine and see a doctor if you have severe flu. (ad)

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