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Health insurance switches hotline to severe flu


Severe flu: DAK Health switches telephone hotline
The flu wave started particularly early and violently this year. Almost 40,000 diseases have already been registered. With the carnival, the number of flu and cold cases could continue to increase. Experts explain what needs to be considered and how you can protect yourself.

Service for all insured
The violent flu wave has ensured that significantly more people than usual are in bed with symptoms such as cough, sore throat and fever. DAK-Gesundheit now offers a telephone hotline around the flu. According to a message from the health insurance company, the service can be used by all insured persons.

Experts answer questions about flu
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has recorded around 39,000 illnesses since the beginning of the year - and far from all cases are reported. 126 people died from the so-called influenza. The south and east of Germany, as well as parts of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate are particularly affected.

In response to the analysis, DAK-Gesundheit now offers a telephone hotline on the subject. How can you prevent? Does the vaccination still make sense? How is real flu different from a cold?

Medical experts are advised on February 15 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Insured persons from all health insurance companies can use the service offer on the free number 0800 1111 841.

Experts believe that the flu will spread further over the next few weeks.

Don't take it lightly
"Influenza or real flu shouldn't be taken lightly," warned Dr. Mark Dankhoff, doctor at DAK-Gesundheit. "The infection can be particularly dangerous for older people and pregnant women."

The symptoms of real flu range from severe chills to coughing to severe fever. “From now on, those affected immediately feel very sick. That distinguishes the real flu from a cold, ”says Dankhoff.

Protection from flu
The Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) recommends vaccination for high-risk groups (pregnant women, people over 60 and people with chronic diseases), but this does not offer 100 percent protection.

"As already known from previous seasons with predominant occurrence of A (H3N2) viruses, it is becoming apparent this season that less than half of the vaccinated are protected against an illness with influenza," write the experts of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in the "Epidemiological Bulletin" (4/2017).

In addition to the flu shot, a number of other preventive measures can reduce the risk of infection. Basically, it makes sense to strengthen the immune system and to keep away from the sick.

"To get rid of viruses as quickly as possible, you should wash your hands more often than usual," advises DAK doctor Dankhoff. But more can be done to avoid the flu - or not to infect others if you have already infected yourself. The DAK experts will provide answers to these and other questions on the hotline on February 15. (ad)

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