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Göppingen County – The number of influenza illnesses in humans has increased dramatically

11/12/2019 1:15 PM

AOK Neckar-Fils Press Release; Petra Schneppe:

Strong increase in disease in the past year

Flu time is getting closer: already vaccinated?

Cough, runny nose, fever: Flu time is approaching. How serious the flu epidemic will be this winter is not yet predictable. There were significantly more people already last year. For example, the number of AOK patients with influenza has increased. About 2,210 people insured with AOK were treated for the flu in Göppingen County in 2018. By 2017, there were 1,650 treatment cases. Vaccination is still the most effective form of flu prevention.

"Flu viruses spread through drip and smear infection. For example, anyone who is infected with spray drops that contain the virus when coughing or sneezing. Cleaning their nose also causes viruses to reach the handkerchief and hands. In addition, shaking hands or hugs encourage the transmission of the virus. flu, "says AOK doctor Sabine Knapstein.

To protect themselves and others, it would be most effective to prevent them from spreading. For example, in addition to the preventative protection provided by the flu vaccine, it means that you wash your hands frequently and do not leave used wipes around.

"As flu viruses keep changing and new forms of the virus appear, the flu vaccine does not offer permanent protection. This change in the flu virus can also be a reason for the increase in the number of diseases. Anyone who wants adequate vaccination coverage every season needs to be vaccinated every year." Knapstein.

In particular, people with weakened immune systems should protect themselves from the flu by vaccination. In addition to the elderly over 60 and chronically ill people of all ages, there are also children and young children whose immune system has not yet matured. Even pregnant women will be vaccinated from the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy.

After vaccination, it takes about 14 days for the body to produce enough antibodies. "If you want to be protected during the flu season, you need to get vaccinated before the first episodes of the flu appear. But since the flu can only break out in January, February or a little later, even later vaccinations may be helpful," Knapstein says.

The costs of influenza vaccines are borne by AOK Neckar-Fils and other statutory health insurance for their policyholders.