Flu season: A severe course of corona due to flu

The “true flu”, also called the flu, is not a simple cold, but a serious illness. With the cold, the flu season begins again. Vaccination is the most effective form of protection against the flu and is recommended annually for everyone who wants to protect themselves.

OÖ. True influenza, also called the flu, is a seasonal viral illness that can be spread by droplets or from hand to hand.

“Unlike a flu-like infection, influenza is sometimes a life-threatening respiratory disease,” says Heidrun Kerschner, head physician at the Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Tropical Medicine of the Ordensklinikum Linz.

Young people (infants from six months old) and the elderly (from 60 to 65 years old), as well as pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, are at risk of a severe course. In addition, vaccination is also recommended for oncology and transplant patients, whose immune systems often do not function optimally.

Free for many

According to the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK), for people over 65 years of age and/or with previous illnesses, a double burden of infection with the coronavirus and the flu would be a great danger. It can be assumed that the flu increases the risk of a severe form of corona and vice versa. Contract and elective doctors in the fields of general medicine, internal medicine and pulmonary specialists receive a certain number of vaccine doses in Upper Austria, which they administer to defined risk groups. It’s best to ask your own family doctor if they participate in the program. The free flu vaccination from ÖGK is intended for insured persons who meet two of the three following conditions: age 65 and over, previous illness, exemption from prescription fees.

child vaccination program

Children play an important role in the spread of the “true flu”. In the upcoming 2022/2023 season, influenza vaccination will therefore also be available for children aged six months to 15 years as part of the free vaccination program for children.

“Currently, we are seeing repeated infections with the flu virus, so now is the optimal time to get vaccinated. Vaccination is of course also possible later, as well as in combination with other vaccines – for example against the coronavirus,” says Kerschner.

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