Flu epidemic now flattens Austria: Massive increase in sickness rates

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The flu epidemic has reached Austria, and sickness rates have recently risen sharply. At the same time, there has been a decline in coronavirus activity.

The flu epidemic in Austria has begun. MedUni Vienna announced this on Tuesday afternoon. “Since the beginning of this week, a further increase in influenza virus detections has been observed in clinical samples from all over Austria,” said virologist Monika Redlberger-Fritz.

The flu wave has started: sickness rates up 55 percent
According to the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK), the number of sick days due to real flu rose by around 55 percent last week.

The sickness figures relate to the last week of the year compared to the first calendar week of 2024. 1,867 people were last in bed due to an infection with the flu virus. The figures include all employees insured with ÖGK throughout Austria and people receiving unemployment benefits. “It is important to wear a mask and wash or disinfect your hands regularly to prevent infection and the spread of the virus,” emphasized ÖGK head physician Andreas Krauter.

More influenza but a decline in coronavirus activity across Europe
The increased detection of the influenza virus this week signals the start of the flu season. An increase in virus activity has already been recorded in recent weeks, according to Redlberger-Fritz from MedUni Vienna’s Center for Virology. According to the expert, influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 viruses are currently circulating to a large extent. These correspond to the virus strains contained in the influenza vaccinations.

According to MedUni, Vienna, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are already reporting widespread influenza virus activity. Across Europe, it said that a decline in SARS-CoV-2 activity is currently being observed with an increase in influenza virus activity.

  • source: APA/picture: pixabay.com
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