Cough, fever, snotty nose and sore throat: many Carinthians currently have to stay in bed with a flu-like infection. It is unusual that the diseases appear very early this year. Especially since the influenza wave is not to be expected until December. And because experts expect a strong wave, the Carinthian health authorities are already vaccinating.
In the previous week, 2527 flu infections were reported to the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK). That is 900 cases more than in the previous year. The number of flu cases, however, is lower. In 2019 there were 27 cases. This year there are eight cases against this.
Strong flu wave this year
Experts are expecting an extremely strong flu epidemic in the winter and so there is already an appeal to get the flu vaccination in good time. “All people at increased risk, the elderly, pregnant women and children should definitely get vaccinated. The flu strains change, by the way, and the vaccination is therefore necessary every year, ”says health officer Beate Prettner. Last year, 16,000 insured people picked themselves up as part of the ÖGK’s flu protection campaign.
20,000 cans reserved
The experts are very divided on whether there will be another rush for flu vaccinations this year. In any case, the Province of Carinthia is prepared. A total of 20,000 doses have been reserved for the vaccination campaign, which has been running in all health departments since Tuesday. The district authorities and the magistrates are already vaccinating. It starts in Villach on October 25th.
7000 cans for nursing homes
This year the federal government will provide 7000 cans free of charge for old people’s and nursing homes. 17,000 cans are available for children – they are given by the paediatricians. The Ministry of Education will also start a vaccination campaign through the Education Directorate for Educators. ÖGK, the Chamber of Physicians and Pharmacists are already in the starting blocks with their annual vaccination campaign.
In the Carinthian hospitals, one is prepared for a wave of flu. A phase plan was drawn up according to which the intensive care beds are divided.