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Flu wave started in Berlin: 282 cases so far

Illustration Grippe

After two seasons without a real wave of influenza in Germany, the number of confirmed influenza cases has been increasing in Berlin for several weeks once again. So far, 282 flu patients have been reported since the beginning of October, according to the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (Lageso) on Friday.

Last week, 56 cases were registered in Berlin, according to the weekly report of the Lageso on Friday. The reporting figures are only a slice of the actual situation: the number of infections during a flu epidemic is estimated at 5 to 20 percent of the population, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which corresponds to about 4 to 16 million people in Germany. Not every infected person falls ill.

Influenza wave usually begins in January

On Wednesday evening it had become known that the flu wave in Germany had started much earlier than usual according to the RKI definition. The start was dated to the week ending October 30. In the years before Corona, the wave usually began in January, according to the RKI. In the past two seasons, however, the pandemic and the measures taken against it greatly changed the typical course: in 2020/21, the flu wave failed worldwide. And in 2021/22, there was also no wave on a known scale in Germany.

Flu vaccination recommended for people over 60

The assessment that the wave has begun is based on results from a surveillance system that examines samples from people with acute respiratory illnesses. The system routinely looks for various pathogens, such as rhinoviruses, Sars-CoV-2 and influenza. However, the RKI is also registering significantly more reports of influenza cases from the federal states than usual at this time of year. This is probably also due to the recommendation since the Corona pandemic that respiratory symptoms should also be tested for influenza viruses.

In Germany, flu vaccinations are recommended for people over 60 as well as pregnant women, the chronically ill, residents of old people's homes and nursing homes, and people at increased occupational risk.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 14 November 2022
Last updated: 14 November 2022

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