Still high numbers of infections

by Clemens Haug

November 11, 2023, 2.24pm

The wave of colds and corona continues, but the number of new infections has not increased further in the last week. The virus can still be dangerous, especially for older people.

The Robert Koch Institute recorded no further increase in new corona infections for the week to November 5. According to the current weekly report from the German Disease Protection Authority, the overall number of identified respiratory diseases is even decreasing slightly. However, it is unclear whether fewer people were actually infected. Given that the October 31 holiday fell on a Tuesday and many people also took Monday off, there may simply be a gap in the disease evidence. More details will likely only become clear in the coming weeks.

Corona incidence at 1,403 – approximately 1.2 million new infections

In total, the RKI counted 18,089 laboratory-confirmed corona infections last week, almost as many as the previous week (the current figure is 18,098. This number may change due to subsequent reports). However, this is only a fraction of actual infections, as laboratory tests using PCR are practically only performed on hospital patients with symptoms.

The SentiSurv study from Mainz University Medicine has been determining the incidence of new infections independently of RKI for over a year. Over 10,000 representatively selected adults in Rhineland-Palatinate undergo tests once a week, so that infections without or with atypical symptoms can also be discovered. For the week to November 1, SentiSurv says 1,403 people per 100,000 inhabitants were infected with Sars-Cov-2, virtually the same number as the previous week (1,405). Extrapolating to Germany, there are just under 1.2 million new infections.

The percentage of the Pirola Corona variant increases slightly to 7%.

This relatively high Corona infection rate is also reflected in wastewater tests at selected wastewater treatment plants. According to the RKI report, an increasing trend has been observed here for several weeks.

According to the RKI, genetic analysis of individual virus samples shows a slow increase in the Pirola variant (BA.2.86), which is now detected overall in 7% of the samples examined. Eris (EG.5) remains the most common variant of the virus at 43%.

According to current knowledge, both virus variants do not lead to more serious infections than previous versions of Corona.

245 deaths with or due to Corona – 97% over 60 years old

Compared to previous years, fewer patients with serious respiratory diseases still need to be hospitalized. The federal government’s pandemic radar currently indicates the incidence of so-called SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) at twelve people per 100,000 inhabitants. This includes not only Covid-19 patients, but also young children who have been infected with the RS virus and other respiratory infections. Sars-CoV-2 had 3.5 people.

But all this should not obscure the fact that there are still fatal cases of corona. According to the weekly report, 658 people have died from or with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of October, including 245 in the last week, according to the pandemic radar. 97% of the deceased were over 60 years old. That is why experts continue to strongly recommend that older people get vaccinated against flu and corona again and thus renew their vaccination protection.

Corona remains the most widespread virus: flu is not yet a problem

Overall, the rate of new respiratory illnesses dropped from 8.5 to 7.5 percent. The RKI determines this number via the regular Grippeweb survey. Extrapolating to the population, about 6.2 million people were infected with a respiratory virus last week.

Sars-CoV-2 continues to be at the forefront when it comes to casually identifying pathogens; it was detected in 48% of the samples examined. Rhinoviruses were present in 39% of the samples. RSV, which causes serious infections primarily in young children, and parainfluenza viruses, which cause flu-like infections, were each detected in 4.5% of the samples. The pathogenic flu, however, continues to occur only sporadically, so the flu season has not yet begun.


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