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Will this year's flu wave be as violent as last year?
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is currently warning of a sharp increase in influenza virus activity and is calling for the start of a new wave of flu in Germany. In the sixth calendar week alone, over 14,000 cases of influenza were submitted to the RKI. 74 people died of influenza this season.
The Influenza Working Group (AGI) at the RKI currently reports weekly on the status of the flu situation in Germany. According to the current weekly influenza report, 14,341 confirmed influenza cases confirmed by laboratory diagnostics were sent to the Robert Koch Institute in the sixth reporting week 2019. This is in the area of a greatly increased activity of acute respiratory diseases.
Since the beginning of the flu season 2018/2019, 35,051 confirmed influenza cases have been known. The RKI speaks of 74 deaths related to influenza virus infections. The report data provided shows that there was a similarly rapid increase in flu cases in the same period last year. Last year, a violent flu epidemic raged in Germany and caused massive deaths.
How do you become infected with influenza?
According to the RKI, influenza viruses are very contagious. By sneezing, coughing or speaking, infected people release tiny droplets of viruses that can be inhaled by other people in close proximity. This serving of viruses is enough to infect a person, especially if that person doesn't have a strong immune system. Another common method of infection is your own hands. The viruses stick to your hands by shaking hands or touching contaminated objects such as door handles, grab handles or banisters. If the hand is later moved to the face, the viruses can enter the body.
How do you recognize influenza?
In contrast to a flu-like infection, influenza typically begins with a sudden onset of illness, which is often accompanied by fever, sore throat and dry cough, muscle tension, body aches, back pain and / or headache. The course of the disease can vary greatly from person to person. Some have only mild symptoms that subside after five to seven days. In others, severe illnesses develop with violent complications such as pneumonia, brain, or heart muscle inflammation. In the worst case, influenza is fatal. Seniors, pregnant women and people with chronic underlying diseases are considered a risk group for serious illnesses.
This is how you can protect yourself from the viruses
As the RKI reports in an influenza disease profile, vaccination is considered the best protection against the flu. In addition, hygiene also plays an important role. By washing your hands regularly with soap, viruses can be removed from your hands before they get into your body. Particular attention should be paid to those who have had contact with sick people. The eyes, mouth and nose should not touch their own mucous membranes with their hands as much as possible. A somewhat rude but effective measure is to avoid shaking hands and to keep a distance from sneezing and coughing people. Excessive contact with patients in the home environment should also be avoided if possible. (vb)