Triple flu wave now rolling toward Austria

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After two years in which Corona measures slowed the infections, the wave is sweeping back. The youngest, in particular, are suffering.

The protective measures against the Coronavirus – mandatory masks, social distancing, lockdowns, etc. – have had a side effect: in the last two years, there has also been a decrease in flu cases. The usual waves of flu in the fall and winter largely failed to materialize. However, with the end of most restrictions, there is the threat of another wave of viruses, particularly severe.

Experts speak of a triple wave, which is now rolling towards Austria. They refer to the Coronavirus, influenza, and the so-called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. The latter usually only cause a cold in adults but can even be fatal for infants or people with weak immune systems.

In many hospitals, pediatric wards are already close to being overloaded: for example, there are already 20 young RSV patients in the Kepler University Hospital in Linz (Upper Austria). At Vienna’s Donauspital, 27 beds are occupied by sick babies.

“It is a respiratory disease that can be particularly dangerous for children under one year of age,” explains Herbert Kurz, head of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Donaustadt Hospital. While infected adults only suffer from cold symptoms for a few days, the virus is considerably more dangerous for children and babies: they often have to be hospitalized.

“The RS viruses usually appear in the cold season. However, measures taken against the pandemic have changed the pattern of occurrence of other viruses. While in the first year of the pandemic, the RSV wave was absent altogether, in 2021, it came earlier than usual in September, and this year a powerful wave is showing up,” informs the physician.

  • source: heute.at/picture:
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