Masks and distance have also slowed down the flu in the past two winters. But now the numbers are increasing. The Minister of Health advises vaccination.
Erlangen (dpa / lby) - As early as mid-November there were more cases of flu in Bavaria than in the entire previous winter. Since the beginning of October, 4515 patients with influenza have been reported in Bavaria, the State Office for Health and Food Safety said on request. The figures reflect the status as of November 14th.
Last winter and autumn, the wave of influenza practically failed because the protective measures taken in the course of the corona pandemic had also slowed down the influenza viruses. The State Health Office registered just 1613 cases from October 2021 to April 2022.
"In addition to infections with corona viruses and other seasonal cold viruses, there are also increasing cases of influenza after we had an almost complete failure of the flu season for two years," said Wolfgang Ritter, chairman of the Bavarian Association of General Practitioners. "The number of infections is around the pre-pandemic level."
After two years, the classic influenza disease is back, emphasized the Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU). Vaccination in Bavaria is not only recommended for risk groups, he said. "Everyone should seek advice from their doctor and decide together with the doctor whether vaccination makes sense for them or not." The flu is a serious illness that shouldn't be taken lightly: "In severe cases, for example, pneumonia or heart muscle inflammation can occur. That's why the more people get vaccinated against the flu, the better."
The influenza vaccination must be renewed every year. The demand for the vaccination is similar to the years before the pandemic - "and therefore too low," said General Practitioners' Association boss Ritter. In the group of over 60-year-olds less than 50 percent of the people are vaccinated. The vaccine is available in the practices of general practitioners in the Free State, and there is sufficient capacity for vaccination. How the situation will develop over the winter cannot yet be predicted, said a spokesman for the health department.
According to the RKI definition, the flu wave began in the week up to October 30th. The results of a monitoring system in which samples from people with acute respiratory diseases are examined are decisive for this assessment. According to the RKI, the annual wave of influenza usually began in January in the years before Corona and lasted three to four months.