“Usually, at this time of year, we only see influenza in people returning from a trip,” Riddleberger-Fritz says. However, there are currently cases of people who have not traveled: “This is actually quite unusual.”
“I’ve worked as a doctor for nearly 40 years, but I haven’t seen many colds with coughs, runny nose, sore throat and headaches in the summer,” says Vienna general practitioner Erwin Rasinger.
Those infected cannot distinguish whether they have Covid disease or another disease.
“Usually one would say that the true viral flu has come on suddenly with illness with a high fever, cough, chills, pain in the extremities, and sore throat,” Riddleberger-Fritz says. “And flu-like infections have a nasty onset with lots of colds and only slightly elevated temperatures.” However: “Covid-19 falls in the middle, because it can cause all the symptoms.”
Does not weaken the immune system
The fact that these diseases are very common now “has to do with the fact that the immune system has not come into contact with these viruses in recent years.” However, the immune system was not weakened, it was simply a lack of training against these viruses through regular contact, says Riedelberger-Fritz: “Our immune system has not come into contact with these viruses in recent years and has not been trained to develop this.” It’s called cross-protection.” This means: “Once you have an infection, you have very good immunity to the exact same virus or a slightly modified virus. Then the immune system is boosted by the next infection without causing severe symptoms. This training has not only happened in the past few years.” GP Rasinger asserts that the course of the disease with the common cold is no more severe or different than it was before.
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