RKI records nearly 18,000 sick and 34 deaths in the current 2022 flu season – Panorama

According to the RKI, the 2022 flu season in Germany claimed the lives of 34 people, and around 18,000 flu patients have been officially registered so far.

In Germany, relatively few people have contracted the flu during the current flu season. As can be seen from the current data of Robert Koch Institute shows, in the period from October 2021 to the beginning of July 2022, 17,953 cases of influenza were registered nationwide. Although this is significantly more than in the same period last year, in which, however, due to the Corona-Pandemic Exit restrictions and strict hygiene rules applied, but far lower than in the years before the pandemic.

For comparison: in the 2019/2020 flu season, more than 188,000 people in Germany were officially infected with the flu; according to official data, there were around 182,000 people in 2018/2019.

According to the RKI, 34 people have died from the flu in the current flu season, which is also significantly less than in the years preceding the corona pandemic. About 3,200 people became so ill with the flu that they had to be treated in hospital.

34 deaths from flu in the current season

A massive one flu epidemic, which had been feared by individual experts, has therefore not materialized. Only “from week 17 to week 20 of 2022, the virological criteria of an influenza epidemic were met, with influenza activity remaining low,” says the current weekly report from the RKI. The 17th calendar week began on April 25, 2022. In the case of influenza, a large number of undetected and unreported cases are generally assumed.

FDP parliamentary group health policy spokesperson Andrew Ullmann recently called for preparations for a possibly particularly severe flu spurt this fall. “We have to prepare for the winter and that includes not only a good vaccination campaign against Covid-19, but also voluntary flu vaccination,” he said. “A flu epidemic reaching a similar size to that of 2017/2018 is quite realistic.”

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According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the worst flu epidemic in decades was rampant at the time. About 25,000 people are estimated to have died. Over the past two years, the flu waves have failed completely. There are currently high numbers of influenza in the Southern Hemisphere. This is also expected in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter, the infectious disease specialist said. “And that surge affects a population that hasn’t been immunized against the flu for at least two years. Although some have been vaccinated, the immunization rate is too low.”

These are the symptoms of the flu (flu)

The flu is a serious respiratory disease caused by flu viruses. According to the German Lung Foundation, it can even be fatal under certain circumstances, especially if the patient is elderly or already has previous illnesses.

Typical signs of the flu:

  • Sudden high fever of at least 38.5 degrees, which then lasts for several days (often)
  • strong sense of illness
  • chills (often)
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting (uncommon)
  • Severe headache (often)
  • Dry, dry cough (often)
  • Stuffed nose and sneezing are rare with the flu.

Course and duration of a flu illness

According to the RKI, a sudden onset of the disease with fever, muscle aches and / or headache is typical of the flu. A dry, dry cough often occurs a little later.

However, not all infected people get sick as usual. According to experts, about a third of infected people get sick with the symptoms mentioned, a third show milder symptoms such as colds and a third do not show any symptoms. Older people, in particular, often don’t have a fever when they have the flu.

According to the Lung Foundation, it can take two or more weeks for you to be completely healthy again. And even after that you often don’t feel productive enough (“delayed flu”).

Treatment: based on symptoms.

There is a flu vaccination, but it must be renewed annually in good time before the flu season.

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