Flu infection or covid? Why are so many sick now?

And 977 people are currently with someone covid infection On sick leave – three weeks ago 660 people were unable to work due to covid. In fact, the general practitioner says there may be more people infected with Covid right now Nachme Kamaleyan-Schmidt, Vice-President of the Medical Society of Vienna. “We see a lot of flu-like infections at the moment, but patients can only get tested for Covid if they cover the costs. Many people can’t afford it or don’t want to. “They’re mostly positive,” says Gamaleyan-Schmidt. A Covid test costs about 20 euros. Even if an infection is suspected, the patient pays for it. to accept.

Outdated covid tests can give false results

Antiviral drug Boxlowit But in practice it can be prescribed only if the covid test is done and positive. “Many people still have out-of-date at-home Covid tests, these tests are no longer usable and can be false negative, which means that even if they actually have Covid, they are often lulled into a false sense of security.” General practitioner practicing in Floridsdorf. Symptoms of flu infection, real flu, covid and RSV (Respiratory disorders sync-virus) are very similar and clinically indistinguishable. Only a PCR test can be conclusive. You must pay for the flu test yourself. However, correct diagnosis is important for prompt treatment with appropriate medication.

A sharp increase in whooping cough

Currently, the incidence of disease is increasing Whooping Cough (Pertussis). This year, with 6,049 cases, more than double the number of cases reported in the previous year (2023: 2,780). 338 people were hospitalized due to illness. A highly contagious cough is especially dangerous for young children, as it can lead to respiratory arrest. About 1 in 1,000 infected children die from complications from whooping cough. Unlike the flu, Covid and RSV, whooping cough is caused by bacteria rather than viruses and can be treated with antibiotics.

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Older children and adults are more commonly affected by the disease Prolonged cough. Gamaleyan-Schmidt: “Coughing attacks are very severe, can even lead to vomiting, and usually last for a long time, three to six weeks. Vaccination against whooping cough should be free for pregnant women and those at risk,” says Gamaleyan-Schmidt. Kamaleyan-Schmidt. People at risk are all those who work in medical professions, workers in childcare facilities and, in general, those who have frequent contact with others and those aged 60 and over.

The vaccine is included in the free vaccination program for children, but there is only adequate vaccine protection from the second part of the vaccine at about five months – this means that newborns are not protected until then, which is why a booster vaccine is recommended for pregnant women. Last trimester of pregnancy. This applies regardless of when you had your last whooping cough vaccination. According to Gamaleyan-Shmi, awareness of the need for whooping cough vaccination is often lacking.

The RSV vaccine is very expensive and must be administered privately

The RS virus causes approximately 330,000 infections each year in Austria, and 170 people die each year after infection. The first cases usually appear in mid-November, and the season lasts up to six months. Kamaleyan-Schmied: “Recently it has become possible to vaccinate against RSV, but the costs are very high at 250 euros and have to be paid privately. It is better if babies born during the RSV period are vaccinated immediately. Other countries such as Spain and Japan are ahead of us here after birth.

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The general practitioner sees the frequent changes in the weather over the past few weeks as the reason why so many people are currently ill. “Sinusitis and similar cold symptoms occur year-round, but changes between hot and cold can increase the spread of viruses and bacteria. It’s important to follow hygiene measures such as washing hands regularly and if I’m sick and don’t know. What I have, one wears a mask.” Anyone who catches a cold or becomes seriously ill in the heat should avoid the sun and take it easy.

Kamaleyan-Schmidt expects the number of cases to be particularly high in the fall. “Many family doctors worry that infections will spike again in the fall. On the one hand, many people do not use existing but expensive vaccines such as those against RSV, and on the other hand, they have to pay privately for tests like Covid. There is also a drug shortage – liquid antibiotics are currently hard to come by. We must act now to prepare for the fall.

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