Sunday , August 1 2021

After the flu episode is before the flu outbreak

With Sabine Strobl

Soon, the flu virus will circulate widely again. The tricky thing about that: You don't know where their order and composition appears and how much they differ from the previous year. Because vaccination is always based on previous years' experience, speculation is always involved in their development. Very difficult to assess is the strain of Influenzagruppe B.

"It is difficult to predict which influenza type will emerge in one year. The influenza A group has always been the same strain, H3N2 and H1N1, in recent years, but their incidence is different," explained Günter Weiss, director of the Internal Medicine Department II in Innsbruck.

Sometimes viruses change so minimally that virological memory can identify and fight viruses. Sometimes the virus changes more and the immune response works worse. Weiss: "The problem with vaccines is that it's lagging a year, so to speak."

Vaccination is further limited by age-related effects. "In children, we have 90 percent vaccination coverage, in older people around 30 percent," Weiss said. The good news: If people get sick despite vaccinations, influenza is less severe.

So, who should be vaccinated against flu? The expert recommends vaccination for chronic sick people and the elderly. It is also important that members of people who are seriously ill and chronically get vaccinated. Weiss: "Someone is trying to build up the immunity of certain groups around these people." Also people in medical work regularly recommend vaccination. Here you decide to protect yourself, your family and orphanages.

Last but not least, parents repeatedly ask if they should have their child vaccinated against the flu. Children who have chronic conditions, such as asthma, suggest Weiss to get vaccinations. If not, that is the case for weighing the pros and cons. For example, influenza in children can sometimes become severe. Or parents cannot accept that their child needs two weeks of care at home. "You have to offer parents a conversation about risks and benefits," said the expert.

From December to April, the flu virus will be transmitted again. Influenza is still a serious disease. Where the onset of the disease usually starts suddenly with malaise, with joint and muscle pain and sometimes coughing. Shivering and high fever, even up to 40 degrees, come. Instead, the thermometer rises in flu infections around 37 to 37.5 degrees, this infection is accompanied by runny nose, fatigue, throat and headache. Every year around five to ten percent of the population in Tyrol suffer from serious influenza.

Flu in this country has declined greatly. "To achieve effective protection, the injection rate must be 80 percent on average; at present we are between 10 and 15 percent. For people who are at higher risk of getting the flu or dying, higher vaccination coverage rates will be important, "Weiss closed. So it needs movement in all layers of the population.

The development of science is also interesting. As Weiss pointed out, there is a lot of research done, "how often can you get influenza in your life or is there permanent immunity. And you also want to know how often you have to be vaccinated, every year or maybe every year?" general, there are still many unknowns.

Keywords …

… avoid pathogens

Protection against viruses and Co is washing hands several times a day. Moderate exercise (do not exaggerate) and a balanced diet also arm yourself for the winter. The absence of smoking protects the mucous membranes in the throat.

… thousands of flu patients

Every year at our latitude, five to ten percent of the population contracts influenza during the winter. More than 100 people are hospitalized every season at the Innsbruck Clinic because of severe influenza.

… a flu outbreak during the holidays

Flu waves occur from December to April. Possible reasons: In cold weather, people are more vulnerable to it and they like to move together. In the tropics, influenza occurs throughout the year, in the southern hemisphere in our summer months.

When you sneeze, the droplets responsible for infection spread within a one to two meter radius. Pathogens are also continued by talking, peddling and touching the door knob.

… influenza is compared

It is believed that an influenza patient infects three to five other people. For measles z. B. higher frequency of infection. Here one expects that the sick person infects 13 to 20 other people.

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