RKI: Many hospitalizations due to respiratory infections
Values as high as usual with severe flu waves: Many people are struggling with respiratory illnesses, some have to go to the hospital. With Corona, however, there is no clear trend reversal at the moment.
After two winters with fewer cold and flu viruses due to the corona pandemic, an exceptionally high number of people are currently affected again in Germany. “The number of hospitalizations for severe acute respiratory infections is globally at a high level, comparable to the range of values at the peak of previous influenza waves”, wrote the RKI on Thursday evening in its weekly Covid 19 report.
In the meantime, the start of the dreaded corona winter wave cannot be reliably read from this data. The RKI reports an eight percent increase in national seven-day incidence over the past week compared to the previous week. However, it is not yet possible to conclusively confirm whether this is a trend. Recently, values have been at a similar level for a long time.
Two million doctor visits for respiratory illnesses
The RKI points out that a total of 9.5 million acute respiratory illnesses in the population have been assumed for the past week – this is above the level of previous years at the height of severe flu waves. The number of doctor visits for respiratory illnesses is estimated at two million – as many as “usually only during the peak weeks of strong flu waves”. In addition to the increase in transmission events, the value could also be related to people already going to the doctor with mild symptoms, he said.
About 330 samples from patients randomly examined in doctors’ offices showed that influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and “to a lesser extent” corona were mainly present. It is difficult to capture what is happening in its entirety.
The flu wave in Germany started early this time: according to the definition of the RKI, in the week before October 30. During the previous two winters, there were hardly any waves due to the pandemic and the measures taken to counter it. Experts therefore feared more sensitive people in the population. The peak of influenza epidemics is usually recorded after the start of the year. The course of a season is considered difficult to predict.