October 10, 2023 – 8:20 pm
The Netherlands is underestimating the severity and size of risk groups for respiratory infections, such as Covid-19, influenza and the RS virus, warns the Dutch Influenza Foundation. He thus opened the National Symposium on National Flu Vaccination Day in The Hague at the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare and Sport. Not only the elderly (60+) and people with known respiratory or lung problems, but also people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity are at high risk. Strikingly, nearly half of respondents did not know that these at-risk groups have an increased risk of death from respiratory infections. However, the majority of vulnerable people are showing a willingness to be vaccinated, with nearly 80% of over-70s indicating they would like to have a flu and/or coronavirus vaccine this autumn. This is evidenced by the results of the national winter fitness survey, in which 5,600 Dutch people participated last month. In the Netherlands, 7 million people are exposed to serious illness due to Corona or influenza during the flu season. We can prevent a lot of suffering through vaccination against influenza and Corona.”
The survey shows that the majority consider lifestyle advice and vaccination to be effective measures to protect vulnerable groups. Two-thirds of participants expressed their willingness to undergo testing if they have complaints related to influenza or Corona. However, only a third are willing to test themselves when visiting frail elderly people or grandparents. “Personal protection and the protection of our loved ones is crucial,” Van Essen said. “We remember the Corona measures well, and they can help us maintain our fitness in the winter.”
As winter approaches, the risk of frail and elderly people becoming seriously ill from respiratory viruses increases. This may lead to a wave of Corona or influenza in the new year. In winter, we spend more time indoors, socialize more closely and ventilate our homes less, which means respiratory viruses transmit more quickly. The Dutch Influenza Foundation strives to prevent as many hospitalizations and deaths as possible by promoting a healthy lifestyle and vaccinating vulnerable groups and the elderly against influenza and Covid-19. According to van Essen and experts, we can reduce the number of Dutch people who end up in hospital as a result of respiratory infections by continuing to use common sense. “We should not underestimate the importance of it, because a serious flu or coronavirus infection can cause long-term complaints and take people out of trading for weeks,” says van Essen.
The National Winter Fitness Survey was initiated by Dr. Ted van Essen, former general practitioner and president of the Dutch Influenza Foundation, and received support from the Dutch Kidney Patients Association, the Lung Fund, KBO-PCOB, and the Dutch Lung Alliance.
The most important results of the National Winter Fitness Survey can be viewed in the chart or at the following link: www.winterfit.nl.
Today, October 10, organizes the Dutch Flu National Flu Day Foundation Experts including Prof. Dr. Liesbeth van Rossum and Prof. Dr. Ab Oosterhuis respond to the results of the national winter event survey.
Source: Influenza Foundation
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