Over 700,000 sick in Austria – most severe flu wave in a long time

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This winter, more hospitalizations were due to the flu than before the pandemic. More than 700,000 people were on sick leave.

Coughs, colds, headaches and sometimes high fevers: Austria was hit by a triple wave of infections this winter. In addition to Corona and the RS virus, the flu wave was particularly severe in December and January.

As the Austrian Health Insurance Fund reported, there were 22,650 influenza cases in Austria between November 2022 and January 2023. The seasonal infection wave started early this winter. The first flu cases occurred as early as November, peaking in mid-December.

In November and December, around 400 patients had to be treated in hospitals for influenza. That is seven times as many as in 2019. More than 700,000 people were on sick leave between November and January because of influenza infection, the report continues.

ÖGK-insured persons were on sick leave for a total of 3.6 million days in January 2023. This is 1.4 million days less than in January 2022. In the flu record year of 2017, more than 5.8 million sick days were recorded in the first month.

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