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Video: Flu - Influenza
Vaccination against influenza (virus flu)
The viral flu (influenza) is a highly contagious disease with an often severe course - especially among people at risk. The influenza virus is transmitted by droplet infection. The symptoms are different, with the course of the disease depending on the characteristics of the virus type and the sick person.
Typical for the virus flu is a strong feeling of illness, high fever, muscle aches, boring headache, severe sore throat and often a painful cough. But there are also courses that are associated with a strong runny nose or with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Possible consequences of the disease are bronchitis, middle ear, frontal and sinus infections, kidney infections, lung, pleurisy and heart muscle inflammation up to cardiovascular failure and death.
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Influenza epidemics occur almost annually during the autumn and winter months and affect around five to 15 percent of the population. Infants, toddlers and the elderly are particularly at risk for severe disease. Pregnant women are also at particular risk of serious consequences of the illness and the need to be admitted to hospital because of flu. With strong annual fluctuations, there are an average of 1,000 flu deaths per year in Austria.
The vaccination is recommended annually, especially e.g. for people over the age of 60, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, small children and for contact persons of those people who have a particular risk of severe disease, such as health staff or people in the vicinity of Newborn.
- Child vaccination: Influenza vaccination is recommended for all children and adolescents and for the first time in the 2020/21 season it will be included in the free vaccination program for children from 6 months to 15 years of age.
- Adult vaccination : The flu vaccination is recommended for everyone who wants to protect themselves - the groups at particular risk can be found in the Austrian vaccination plan. There are grants or free vaccinations from individual employers.
Note Since the influenza viruses are constantly changing, the flu vaccine has to be re-administered every year to ensure adequate protection against the changed forms of the virus. Since it cannot be foreseen which strains will actually prevail in Austria in the respective situation, it is not possible to predict the protective effect of the flu vaccination before the season.
Overall, vaccinated people have an advantage over non-vaccinated people. Should the vaccinated still fall ill exceptionally:
- If the disease is usually milder and shorter,
- they are less likely to suffer serious illnesses
- and require hospitalization less often.
The best time for the annual flu vaccination starts in late October / mid-November. However, it can also be carried out at any earlier or later point in time, even when flu cases are already occurring. The vaccination itself is generally well tolerated. However, there is no protection against colds and flu-like infections caused by other viral infections.
- Children: When vaccinating children up to the age of 8 to 9 for the first time (depending on the vaccine), two vaccinations should be given at least four weeks apart (if there is sufficient vaccine availability). According to this, an annual vaccination is sufficient for this age group - as is the case with older children and adolescents.
- A single vaccination per year is sufficient for adults. The National Vaccination Committee issues its own recommendation each year to select a vaccine, depending on the expected virus situation. Vaccination against influenza is also useful during the influenza season, as long as the person being vaccinated has not yet been infected or does not yet show any symptoms.
The detailed vaccination schedules for different age and target groups can be found in the vaccination plan 2020 under the item Influenza (virus flu).
You can find detailed information about influenza under Grippal Infekt & Flu.