With several hundred cases in the last weeks of December, this year’s flu season started unusually early in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the disease should generally not be taken lightly.
388 influenza cases were reported to the facility before the end of 2012. “The increasing numbers point to the start of the flu season,” said RKI spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher in Berlin. She warns not to underestimate the flu. Every year between 5,000 and 8,000 people in Germany die from the disease, depending on the course of the disease. “But it is very difficult to predict whether a flu epidemic will take a normal or severe course. The individual risk of a serious illness is also not influenced by this, ”explains the expert. The RKI therefore advises older people, pregnant women and the chronically ill in particular to get a flu vaccination to protect themselves from influenza, even after the start of the flu season. “Even now it makes sense to go to the doctor – but after the injection it takes about two weeks for protection to exist,” says Glasmacher.