Friday , April 23 2021

After the flu epidemic is before the flu epidemic

By Sabine Strobl

Soon, the influenza virus will circulate a lot again. The tricky thing about it: you do not know what order and composition they are showing and how much they differ from the previous year. As the current vaccination is always based on the experience of the previous year, speculation is always involved in their development. Particularly difficult to assess are the strains of Influenzagruppe B.

"It is difficult to predict which specific strains of influenza B that will be shown in a year. Influenza group A has always been the same strain, H3N2 and H1N1, in recent years, but their incidence was different," explains Günter Weiss, director of Institute of Internal Medicine II in Innsbruck.

Sometimes a virus is minimized so that the virological memory can identify and fight the virus. Sometimes a virus changes more and the immune response works worse. Weiss: "The problem with the vaccine is that it is behind one year, so to speak."

Vaccination is further limited by its age-related effect. "In children we have 90 percent vaccination protection, in the elderly about 30 percent," explains Weiss. The good news: If people get ill, despite vaccination, the flu is less serious.

So who should be vaccinated against the flu? The expert recommends vaccination for chronically ill people and the elderly. It is important that even members of serious and chronically ill people are vaccinated. Weiss: "People are trying to build up some flock immunity around these people." People in medical professions regularly suggest a vaccination. Here you decide to protect yourself, the family and the fetus.

Last but not least, the parents repeatedly ask if they should have their child vaccinated against the flu. Children who have a chronic condition, such as asthma, recommend Weiss to be vaccinated. Otherwise, it is important to weigh up and downside. For example, flu in children may sometimes be difficult. Or parents can not accept that their children need two week care homes at home. "You have to offer parents a conversation about risks and benefits," said the expert.

From December to April, the influenza virus will be relayed again. Influenza is still a serious disease. Where the onset of disease usually begins suddenly with disease, with pain in joints and muscles and sometimes coughing. Chills and high fever, even up to 40 degrees, come to it. However, the thermometer rises in a flu infection around 37 to 37.5 degrees, this infection is accompanied by runny nose, fatigue, throat and headache. Every year, about five to ten percent of the population in Tyrol suffers from severe flu.

Influenza diseases in this country hardly diminish. "In order to achieve effective protection, the average injection rate must be 80 percent, at present we are between 10 and 15 percent. For those who are at higher risk of influenza or dying, a higher vaccination coverage would be important," concluded Weiss. need movement in all parts of the population.

Evolution in science is also exciting. As Weiss points out, there is a lot of research going on, "How often can you get flu in life or if there is permanent immunity. And you want to know how often you will be vaccinated, every year or maybe every other year?" Although it is a common disease, there are still many unknowns.

Keyword …

… ward off pathogens

A protection against viruses and co. Wash your hands several times a day. Sport in moderation (do not exaggerate) and a balanced diet will put you in the winter too. The absence of smoking protects the mucous membranes in the throat.

… thousands of flu patients

Every year in our latitudes, five to ten percent of the population gather flu in the cold season. Over 100 people are in hospital every year at Innsbruck Clinic due to severe flu.

… flu epidemic during the holidays

Influence waves occur from December to April. Possible reason: In cold weather people are more likely to and they like to move together. In the tropics, flu occurs all year round, in the southern hemisphere during the summer months.

When sneezing, they spread drops that are responsible for the infection within a radius of one to two meters. The pathogens are also forwarded by talking, jumping and touching the door knobs.

… flu in comparison

It is thought that an influenza patient infects three to five other people. For measles z. B. Infection rate is higher. Here you expect a sick person to infect 13-20 other people.

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