In February, the first early have to fight bloomers from the earth, the darkness gives way to slow. There are signs of spring – many connect you with the hope that the time of the Schniefens and cough near the end. A myth: The annual flu wave will start only when the days are getting longer.
In the past week alone 9205 flu cases were reported, according to the latest weekly report of the Association of Influenza at the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI). Thus, the number has doubled compared to the previous week. In reported cases, it is only to diseases in which the influenza viruses were detected in the laboratory. Since not all Doctors in their patient samples to the lab, is likely to be the number of unreported cases is much higher.
In almost every fifth of the reported cases (18 percent) had to be treated in the hospital.
The real flu differs in several respects from a cold or a flu-like infection. During a flu infection is usually harmless, the symptoms of a flu is much stronger and can be life-particularly for debilitated persons dangerous. Since the autumn of 2018 have died, according to the RKI 49 people for whom a flu disease was detected.
Currently you can not forecast whether the wave of Flu is expected this year will be particularly strong or weak. Last Winter Germany had experienced an unusually severe flu season: Between the end of December and beginning of April were ill 333.567 people and 1665 patients died. Here, too, the number of unreported cases is considerably higher.
The differences: the flu or just a cold?
A flu can be based on different points of a flu or a cold can be distinguished:
- It sets in suddenly with severe symptoms, a cold, the condition gradually worsens.
- The body temperature rises to 38 to 41 degrees, in the case of a flu, it comes, if at all, only a slight increase in temperature.
- At the beginning, a dry cough, the one that hurts. Also in the case of a flu-like infection can cause cough, this is, however, often slimy and does not cause any discomfort in the chest.
- Anyone who is suffering from a flu, feeling weak and heavily knocked off. In the case of a flu it only comes to a groggy feeling.
- In addition, the real flu often leads to sharp, piercing headaches, and muscle and joint pains, which extend over the whole body. In the case of a flu it can come also to the head and body aches, the whole body aches.
How can you protect yourself against the flu?
The most important tip is the simplest: wash hands frequently. Water and normal soap enough, it does not need special antibacterial soap or disinfectant. Thus, all the pathogens are washed off, the palms of the hands and fingers are in-between spaces for at least 20 seconds scrub.
Also it is advisable to the hands from the face. You touch in the subway, a holding rod, the virus stuck, it paves the subsequent handle to the nose or mouth pathogens, and the disease is the way in the body. If possible, it also helps during the Flu epidemic to keep other people and shaking little hands.
Apart from the precautions, vaccination against Influenza, which is adjusted each year to the currently circulating pathogens exists. Since the Influenza viruses change constantly, it offers no one hundred percent protection. The disease develops in vaccinated persons, however, as a rule, lighter than in the case of an Unvaccinated, the lower the risk for complications.
For whom flu vaccination is recommended?
The Standing Committee on vaccination recommends vaccination for the following areas:
- All persons aged 60 years;
- all Pregnant women from the second Trimester (in the case of a chronic underlying disease even earlier);
- Persons with an underlying disease such as a chronic disease of the respiratory system, a cardiovascular disease or Diabetes;
- Residents of nursing homes;
- Persons who, by virtue of their profession vulnerable, such as medical personnel.
For those who want to still get vaccinated should do so as quickly as possible. The immune system requires an average of ten to 14 days until it has built up the complete Vaccination. Therefore, it is actually recommended that in October or November, immunize.
Persons for whom vaccination is not specifically recommended, should check before treatment, whether your health insurance covers the cost.