Flu wave: Much more swine flu cases than last year

Flu wave: Much more swine flu cases than last year

Swine flu on the rise in Germany
Fever, cough, headache and body aches: The flu wave 2016 is spreading. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the H1N1 virus ("swine flu") has dominated this season so far. Health authorities report more cases than last year.

Already over 13,000 flu cases reported
Headache, high fever, cough and aching limbs: The flu wave is in full swing. In the past seventh calendar week in 2016 alone, 3,081 confirmed influenza cases were sent to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to the institute, a total of 13,290 cases of flu have been reported since the beginning of the season in early October. So far, the course has been typical and the order of magnitude in comparison to other years is reasonable, but it is striking that the majority of healthy adults are infected with severe flu. According to the initial findings, the current wave of flu affects people of middle age groups more frequently and more severely than in previous years.

Current dominance of the H1N1 virus
The reason for this is probably the current dominance of virus A (H1N1) pdm09, which has only been circulating since 2009, as the RKI announced. The H1N1 virus, which may be known to many as swine flu, seems to cause more severe disease courses, especially among younger adults, than the A (H3N2) virus, which was common last year, according to an RKI spokeswoman. However, serious illnesses are an exception overall. Recently, there has been increasing international reports of severe influenza cases in intensive care units, with the H1N1 virus primarily being the more specific cases.

Eastern Germany more affected
The east of Germany is affected comparatively badly in the current season. Diseases are currently piling up, particularly in western Saxony. According to the Saxon State Research Institute (LUA), there have been 2,137 confirmed cases of influenza and six deaths in the Free State. 72 percent of the diseases are due to the H1N1 virus. Swine flu is also on the rise in Hamburg. According to the Hamburg health authority, 103 people in the Hanseatic city contracted the virus in January alone. (ad)

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