Number of infections with highly contagious rotaviruses has risen sharply
Gastrointestinal diseases: Thousands of rotavirus infections in Germany
In Germany, the number of rotavirus infections has increased significantly compared to the previous year. The highly infectious agents can cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort. Especially toddlers should be protected.
Number of rotavirus infections increased sharply
As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "Infektionsschutz.de", rotaviruses are "one of the most common causes of gastrointestinal diseases in infants". According to the experts, they are "highly contagious, so almost all children up to the age of 5 already have an infection." But you can get infected several times in the course of his life. According to health experts, the number of rotavirus infections in Germany has increased significantly compared to last year.The number of rotavirus infections in Germany has increased significantly. The pathogens can be dangerous especially for toddlers. (Image: Syda Productions / fotolia.com)
Cases of illness reported to the Robert Koch Institute
According to a statement of the health insurance company Barmer, more than 2700 rotavirus infections in Thuringia have been reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) since the beginning of the year - that is already more than in the entire previous year with 1,600 diseases.
In Schleswig-Holstein, 1,019 such infections were registered by mid-October. This is 61 percent more than in the same period of the previous year. In the whole of 2016 there were 717 cases.
According to the health insurance fund, there was also a strong increase in other federal states compared to the previous year: in Saxony from 3,180 in the entire previous year to 4,402 infections by mid-October 2017.
In Baden-Württemberg, the number increased from 833 to 2,214 so far and in Hamburg from 843 to currently 1,270 rotavirus infections.
Disease can be dangerous especially for toddlers
"Rotaviruses cause diarrhea, vomiting and fever. This can be particularly dangerous for infants and toddlers, because they lose a lot of fluid very quickly, "warns Thomas Wortmann, Country Manager of the Barmer for Schleswig-Holstein.
"If the fluid loss can not be compensated, the condition can sometimes be life-threatening," it says on "Infektionsschutz.de".
"Frequent side effects are fatigue, loss of appetite and abdominal pain," says Birgit Dziuk, national manager of the Barmer in Thuringia.
Highly contagious and extremely resistant
The viruses are highly contagious and extremely resistant. Outside the body, the pathogens can survive for several days. Just a few virus particles are enough to trigger an infection.
Infected excrete the pathogens for about a week, the toilet or diapers they reach the hands of adults or other children, from there to door handles, on changing tables or toys.
"This sets in motion a textbook spiral of contagion. Hand hygiene is so important, "says Wortmann.
Early oral vaccine for babies
In larger children and adults, the disease usually does not take such a heavy course, because the immune system has been repeatedly confronted with the pathogens and trained accordingly.
Unlike infants and toddlers: About half of the rotavirus sufferers have to be hospitalized.
The Barmer therefore recommends the oral vaccine against the rotavirus, which consists of two to three vaccines.
"At the age of six to twelve weeks should be started in babies with the oral vaccine against rotavirus. Then they will be protected for about two to three years, which is exactly the time when infection can be particularly difficult, "says Wortmann. (Ad)