Winter time is flu time. Where in Germany lurks the highest risk of infection with influenza and what you can do to spare you the flu this year.
Everyone has a cold, but the difference between a real viral flu and a severe cold is not that easy to determine. Even doctors find it difficult to differentiate influenza from a cold. Only the test in the laboratory provides final certainty. Since the doctor only requests an analysis of the pathogen in the laboratory for a fraction of all illnesses, there are only indications as to whether it is a real virus flu or just a persistent cold
Checklist: recognizing the flu
|☛||You can tell flu by its course. The real The flu starts suddenlywhile a cold is slower to develop. So if you were still in top shape in the morning and feel seriously ill by noon, you probably have real influenza.|
|☛||In addition to cold symptoms, typical of the flu Headache and body aches.|
|☛||fever is also typical of a flu infection. While a mild fever of up to 38.5 ° C is typical for colds, the fever can rise to over 40 ° C with real flu.|
|☛||Flu is highly contagious. If half the office is flat or half of the classmates are absent due to illness, then the influenza virus is probably up to mischief.|
|☛||The influenza occurs accumulated seasonally On the other hand, colds occur all year round. Typically, the peak of the influenza wave occurs between mid-January and mid-March|
|☛||Only he brings certainty Laboratory test on influenza viruses. If necessary, the doctor initiate a test.|
Where are the dangers lurking?
There is a risk of infection especially in public places: kindergartens, schools, transport, offices and restaurants are paradise for the flu viruses. Lots of people travel here in a confined space. Just one sick person is enough to infect many other healthy people.
Practical: The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin publishes a map every week that shows the activity of the flu virus. Due to the rapid spread of the flu virus, activity may change daily, but it is a good indicator.
How do you get the flu?
There are two ways of infection: One is the droplet infection, for example through sneezing, coughing or even speaking. On the other hand, the so-called smear infection: flu viruses also lurk on objects of everyday life such as light switches, door handles, pens or even paper and from there first get on the victim’s hands and then, for example, on the mucous membranes while eating, and begin to multiply in an uncontrolled manner. After one to three days you are sick with the flu. The nasty thing about the flu: You can infect other people before you get sick yourself. In the hours before the outbreak of the flu, so many flu viruses are secreted that other people can become infected.
What helps against infection with flu?
Fortunately, you can protect yourself against infection. No virus likes hygiene. You don’t need to overdo it: The basic rule is: Don’t forget to wash your hands before eating. Washing your hands after going to the toilet should not only be standard in the flu season anyway. Avoiding large crowds of people is also advisable: if you have a choice, you shouldn’t take the overcrowded subway at rush hour or go to the supermarket at rush hour. If you are particularly afraid of the flu, you can also consider getting a flu vaccination. People with weakened immune systems should definitely get vaccinated. Experts also strongly recommend vaccinations for seniors. It may take a few days for the vaccination to take full effect, but experience has shown that flu epidemics last for several weeks.
Effective home remedies and medication for respiratory infections
Winter time is flu time. There are many home remedies, and there are many more medications – but which of them really helps and which cure does more harm than good?
On the other hand, taking preventive medicines is not a good idea: antibiotics do not help against influenza, and medicines such as Tamiflu or Relenza are also not recommended without a doctor’s prescription!
What if it got me?
If you get the flu despite all caution, you should stay in bed and if it is severe (fever over 39 degrees or very agonizing symptoms) you should definitely consult a doctor so that you get well again quickly. In order not to endanger others, additional hygiene should be observed during the illness and for a few days afterwards: Use handkerchiefs only once and then dispose of them immediately, wash your hands thoroughly and ventilate often to get the viruses outside. If you have to cough or sneeze, you should do so up your sleeve out of consideration for others. Holding up your hand is actually a disadvantage from a hygienic point of view. Because the viruses are distributed particularly effectively via the hands. Drinking a lot helps against the flu and cold, and there is nothing wrong with home remedies such as chicken soup. But be careful with the temperature: If drinks or food are too hot, this irritates the mucous membranes and the symptoms get worse. Lukewarm dishes are better for flu and colds.
If possible, contact with other people should also be reduced to a minimum so as not to infect them. And even after the acute illness, it is still important to take care of yourself: if you demand full performance from your body too early, you risk serious consequential damage, including heart muscle disease. It’s better to take it slowly, it doesn’t help if you lie flat again.