Influenza: Flu Onda 2018/19 News: Symptoms and vaccination – Science


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The epidemic of influenza 2018/19 is currently in full swing. Information on the flu can be found here: symptoms, infection, vaccination and important facts and figures.

Flu news: questions and answers about the flu

The expired flu epidemic still holds researchers and doctors, as the 2018/2019 flu epidemic is already occurring in Germany. Currently, it seems that this episode of influenza is not as serious as last winter, even if it can not be definitively estimated. All important questions and answers at a glance.

as many people were during the previous flu surge Sick?

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the influenza epidemic passed in 2018 was the strongest in Germany since 2001. "It is estimated that nine million people have gone to the doctor because of an influenza illness," said the researcher Silke Buda, of RKI. "That was two million more people than during the heavy flu epidemic in 2012/13 and 2014/15."

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When does a flu epidemic start? normally?

The annual flu epidemic usually begins in December / January and lasts three to four months. The peak of the flu in 2018/2019 will peak this spring.

How dangerous could the current flu epidemic be?

This can not be clearly said yet. The force of the waves can vary considerably from year to year. In the past, strong and weak years often alternated. In recent years, there have been several heavy waves in a row, according to RKI.

Flu Wave 2018/2019: Symptoms

Influenza-causing agents are viruses that divide scientists into types A, B, and C. For humans, seasonal influenza A and B viruses are particularly relevant. They can be transmitted through tiny droplets – a sneeze is enough. Above all, it is treacherous that influenza viruses can rapidly change individual genetic segments.

Transmission of the influenza virus is predominantly performed by droplets, which arise especially during coughing or sneezing and reach a small distance to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract of contact persons. There is also evidence of airborne transmission through nuclei of even smaller droplets.

In addition, transmission of influenza is also possible by direct contact of the hands with the surface with contaminated secretions containing viruses, followed by hand-mouth and hand-nose contact, such as handshaking.

Is a flu shot helpful?

"More vaccines would prevent more disease," says Silke Buda of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Already for the 2016/17 season, the RKI expects 22,900 flu deaths in Germany. "The past wave could be even bigger," says the expert.

Which group of people does an influenza vaccine make sense?

The Vaccination Standing Committee (STIKO) recommends vaccination for all people over the age of 60, for chronic patients of all ages, pregnant women and the medical and nursing staff. The German Heart Foundation especially advises heart patients for the flu vaccine because they are particularly at risk from the previous illness. In addition, patients over the age of 60 will be advised to receive a pneumococcal vaccine.

When should you get vaccinated?

Sensible are flu vaccines, especially in October and November. Because until the protection of the vaccine accumulates completely, ten to 14 days pass.

How well does the vaccine work?

In young adults, a vaccine can have a protective effect of up to 80%. Older people can reduce their risk on average by half – effectiveness is then between 40 and 60%. A vaccine is the best protection against the flu.


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Is a flu vaccine recommended for pregnant women?

Yes, absolutely. The advantage is that the baby has a protection against the flu in the first few months. "The Vaccination Standing Committee (STIKO) recommends vaccination against influenza to all pregnant women from the second trimester of pregnancy, who are at greater risk to health due to a primary disease (such as asthma or diabetes) from the first trimester of pregnancy" , says the site StiKo.

What else protects against the flu?

The vaccine is the most important protective measure, despite varying effectiveness from season to season. In addition, it is recommended to wash hands with soap and distances to reduce the risk of disease. (AZ)

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