What you should know about flu

What is the typical time for a flu wave? How much protection does a flu shot offer? How is the infection going? Here is the most important information.

That hits every year flu many people. In this article we answer the most important questions about Influenza.

When do flu waves occur?

Flu waves usually start in January of a year and last for three to four months.

Why do flu waves occur in the winter half-year?

There are various assumptions: Influenza viruses are more stable at low temperatures and in dry air outside of their host structures (human respiratory mucosa). It is also believed that the upper respiratory tract mucosa is more susceptible to dry air infection and the immune system is less powerful in winter than in summer. Another factor could also be that you spend a long time in winter with other people in poorly ventilated rooms.

How many people are caught?

It is estimated that five to 20 percent of the population is infected during the annual flu waves. The strength of the flu waves fluctuates considerably from year to year and is unpredictable.

Flu contagion: how do you get infected?

Influenza viruses are mainly transmitted through droplets that have a particle size of more than five micrometers, which arise especially when coughing or sneezing and can reach the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract of contact persons over a short distance. There are also indications of airborne transmission through droplet cores, which are even smaller, also arise during normal breathing or speaking and can float in the air for longer. In addition, transmission is also possible through direct contact of the hands with surfaces contaminated with virus-containing secretions and subsequent hand-mouth and hand-nose contact – for example, by shaking hands.

Does a flu shot offer safe protection?

No vaccine protects 100 percent. In recent years, an average of 40 to 60 out of 100 vaccinated people have been protected. Above all, people whose immune systems are weak, such as the elderly, speak to those vaccination less well.

How long is the incubation period?

The incubation period, i.e. the time between infection and outbreak of disease symptoms, is in the Influenza short and averages one to two days.

How long does the contagiousness last?

The duration of the infectivity, i.e. the elimination of reproductive viruses, is on average about four to five days after the first symptoms appear, but is also possible before the onset of symptoms. A longer duration occurs especially in children.

How do colds and real flu (influenza) differ?

A cold, often referred to as a “flu infection”, has to do with the real one flu Nothing to do. Both diseases are caused by different pathogens. A flu is triggered by influenza viruses. A sudden onset of illness with fever or a clear feeling of illness is typical, combined with muscle and / or headache and irritable cough. A Influenza can cause complications such as pneumonia, especially in the elderly, chronically ill and pregnant women, and can even be fatal.

Editor’s note: This article is a contribution from our online archive.

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