Infectiologist at Zurich University Hospital warns of flu season

Influenza viruses and co.

Infectiologist at the Zurich University Hospital: “If we are unlucky, there will be a mega-wave of respiratory infections”

Due to the corona protective measures, normal virus infections are almost impossible. With the easing, they are on the rise again. How severe the flu will be this winter is unclear.

According to infectiologist Huldrych Günthard, it is unclear how strong the flu is. The FOPH is expecting a flu epidemic “as usual”. (Symbol image)

Keystone

Keeping your distance, washing your hands and wearing a mask not only protect against the coronavirus, but also against the well-known viruses. But since the Federal Council gradually relaxed the measures, normal respiratory diseases are on the rise again. “Sore throat, strong runny nose, but also diarrheal diseases are often observed in our practices,” confirms physician Felix Huber “NZZ on Sunday”. Huber is president of the medical network Medix, which includes 800 doctors across Switzerland. The association of general practitioners and paediatricians also reports something similar.

Huldrych Günthard, senior doctor in the clinic for infectious diseases and hospital hygiene at Zurich University Hospital, is concerned about it. Because the infections now hit a population that is less immunized than before the pandemic. “If we are unlucky, there is, in addition to the already high level of corona infections, a mega-wave of respiratory infections of all kinds, which were previously pushed back due to the protective measures and have now become more virulent,” the doctor is quoted as saying.

How bad is the flu?

The so-called human corona viruses, which have been circulating in the population as cold viruses for many years, could now, according to Günthard, “come back potentially more dangerous” because there is less immunity in society. The same applies to seasonal flu. “Nobody knows how strong it will hit this winter,” says Günthard. “The big question is: will it be all the more difficult after a year off? Population immunity has likely decreased significantly »

The Federal Office of Public Health is not assuming a stronger flu wave: “Even after a year of ‘pause’ there should still be robust partial immunity in the population,” the newspaper report quotes the BAG. If the measures in Europe are largely relaxed thanks to a sufficient level of vaccination against Corona, there is likely to be a flu epidemic in winter “to the usual extent”. (dpo)

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