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Many infections: Is there a big flu wave?


In some places there is fear of a big flu wave
The flu wave is rolling much earlier in some regions of Germany than in previous years. According to experts, however, it cannot yet be said whether the season has just shifted or may be more difficult this time. The start of the norovirus season also started earlier than usual.

The disease season starts particularly early this winter
In some regions of Germany, such as North Rhine-Westphalia, this year's flu wave started particularly early. Nevertheless, according to health experts, no statement can yet be made as to whether the season has only shifted forward and is waning earlier, or whether there will be an increase in cases in the end. The norovirus, which leads to violent vomiting diarrhea, is also particularly early this winter.

Rate of flu-like illnesses increased significantly
Experts from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) report on the “GrippeWeb” web portal. that the estimated rate for people with a newly developed acute respiratory disease (ARE, with or without fever) in the second calendar week (KW) (09.01. to 15.01.2017) increased slightly compared to the previous week (6 , 7%; previous week: 6.3%).

"The rate of flu-like diseases (ILI, defined as ARE with fever) has increased significantly compared to the previous week (2.3%; previous week 1.7%)," it continues.

The Working Group on Influenza (AGI) at the RKI writes: "For the second reporting week 2017, 3,742 cases of influenza confirmed by laboratory diagnostics have been sent to the RKI so far (data status 17/01/2017). According to the AGI definition, the flu wave is in season 2016/17 started in the 51st KW 2016 and has continued since then.

According to experts, it is currently not yet possible to predict how much the flu viruses will spread. The numbers fluctuate enormously from year to year.

Difference between flu and simple cold
Because of the similar symptoms, patients are often not at all sure whether a flu or flu infection is responsible for their symptoms. Not all of them go to the doctor, and people with cold symptoms are not always tested for influenza there either.

In contrast to the common cold, the flu is a contagious disease that lasts for weeks. It occurs suddenly and manifests itself among other things through high fever, joint and limb pain, chills, and headache.

People from risk groups are advised to be vaccinated
Everyone has to decide for themselves whether a flu vaccination makes sense. According to the RKI, it can still offer protection even at the beginning and in the course of the flu wave. Experts recommend people from risk groups to get vaccinated.

The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) advises senior citizens 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, however, the pros and cons of flu vaccination must be weighed up against each other. (ad)

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