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Not immune: children often get the flu several times in one season


No protection: children can get sick twice in one flu season
Although people can become immune to virus infections, this is not always the case. Austrian scientists have found that children can get the flu twice in one season if they become infected with different strains of viruses.

Virus infection does not always make you immune
In recent weeks, it has been reported that there could be more flu cases this season than last winter. This assumption was voiced, among other things, because the current flu season started much earlier than usual. Anyone who has already had a disease can not sit back and relax, assuming that they are immune to the virus infection. Even after going through illness, there is no protection against flu.

Two illnesses in one season
Researchers at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) have found that children can get flu twice a season if they become infected with different strains of viruses, reports the professional association of pediatricians on its website “kinderaerzte-im- netz.de “.

In the 2014/15 flu season, the scientists identified 13 children among 647 children with flu symptoms, such as high fever, who had contracted flu twice.

According to the BVKJ, there was an average of 50 days (24 to 70 days) between the two diseases. The affected children did not suffer from previous illnesses or from an immune deficiency. The experts published their results in the journal "Infectious Diseases".

Flu viruses are constantly changing
It is not particularly surprising that flu that you have been through does not make you immune. After all, the flu viruses are constantly changing. Those who want to protect themselves with a vaccination must therefore be vaccinated again every year.

As the BVKJ writes, children with chronic bronchitis, metabolic disorders, diseases of the cardiovascular system and the kidney or with neurological disabilities should definitely be vaccinated against flu.

For some years now, a nasal spray for children has been available as a flu vaccine, for which health insurance companies in some cases cover the costs.

Protect yourself from infections
Parents must decide for themselves and their offspring whether flu vaccination is useful. The Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) advises seniors from the age of 60, pregnant women, the chronically ill, residents of old people's homes and nursing homes and medical staff to be vaccinated against flu. Ultimately, the pros and cons of flu vaccination must be weighed up against each other.

In order to protect yourself, it makes sense to keep away from the sick and to strengthen the immune system.

The peak of a flu wave is usually reached between December and April. During this time, three to four strains of pathogens circulate, which can lead to flu in humans.

According to the BVKJ, two to three influenza A virus strains and one influenza B virus strain have been in circulation in recent years. The flu vaccines for 2016/2017 therefore contain variants of the influenza A strains H1N1 and H3N2 as well as of influenza B strains. (ad)

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