Flu: The wave of diseases could flare up again with the carnival

Over-the-counter medications: need for cold medicines doubled
Sore throat, cough, runny nose: The current wave of colds and flu causes sales of over-the-counter medicines to increase significantly. Experts warn that significantly more people could become infected during the carnival season. Therefore, some tips should be followed to prevent infections.

Protect against infections
The violent flu wave currently ensures that countless people with symptoms such as cough, sore throat and fever are in bed. In order to protect yourself from infection, it is generally a good idea to strengthen the immune system and keep away from the sick. The latter in particular may prove to be difficult during the carnival.

Cold wave could get new impetus at Carnival
According to experts, the cold wave with the carnival and the accompanying lavish festivals could get new momentum.

Stefan Fink, a pharmacist from Weimar and a member of the board of the German Pharmacists' Association (DAV) said in a message from the dpa news agency: "Many people in one place with physical contact is, of course, an Eldorado for viruses and bacteria. The pathogens spread particularly well because you get particularly close in the foolish period. "

In addition, the risk of infection is increased by the cold in combination with alcohol. “So you shouldn't overdo it with sparkling wine, wine and Co. In addition, warm clothing is popular during the carnival parade, thick winter boots for example, even if it doesn't match the costume, ”says the specialist.

Home remedies can help
If you still catch a cold or flu, you should rest as long as possible until the disease has subsided. In many cases, home remedies can relieve the discomfort.

Ginger, honey and onions are suitable for the quick treatment of colds. Medications are often only recommended by health experts for severe illnesses.

Sales of over-the-counter cold medicines doubled
Nevertheless, many people quickly take tablets and the like. According to the dpa report, the cold and flu epidemic cause sales of over-the-counter medicines to double each year. Accordingly, runny nose, sore throat and hoarseness were also reflected in sales this winter.

According to figures from the DAV, customers spent around 452 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone for preparations from sore throats, nasal sprays and cough syrup. This was more than in the second and third quarters of 2016 combined.

According to the information, around 62 million pharmaceutical packs went over the counter in the fourth quarter of 2016. In summer there are only 30 to 35 million a quarter.

"The current sales figures since October 2016 indicate that the cold wave is still in full swing," said Fink. "People's acute need for all kinds of cold remedies is usually twice as high in the cold season as in the summer months."

Increasing influenza activity
"The flu wave in Germany continues with increasing influenza activity," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in the current "Epidemiological Bulletin". According to the institute, 14,242 influenza cases confirmed by laboratory diagnostics have so far been sent to the RKI for the 5th reporting week 2017.

The RKI experts write about the new findings on the effectiveness of the vaccine of the current season: “Even if less than half of those vaccinated are protected from an illness with influenza, vaccination can result in an increased risk of influenza illnesses large number of diseases can be prevented. Therefore, influenza vaccination remains the best preventive measure at the population level to reduce the risk of illness. ”(Ad)

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