Flu wave lowers blood donation

Flu wave lowers blood donation

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Less blood donation due to the flu wave

Regular blood donations are extremely important for the medical care of patients, but the situation with the blood donation service of the German Red Cross (DRK) is extremely tense, especially as a result of the current flu epidemic, according to the news agency "dpa". So far, there have been no bottlenecks in the availability of donor blood, but with the upcoming Easter holidays, the situation could worsen.

In view of the sharp decline in blood donations, the German Red Cross has called on all healthy people to take advantage of the opportunity to donate. Sick people are not allowed to donate blood, which is why the numerous flu cases automatically cause a decrease in blood donations. In addition there are the past public holidays of the carnival and the upcoming holiday season, which could worsen the situation in the coming weeks. Because blood donations are only “five to six weeks”, said a spokeswoman for the DRK blood donation service to the “dpa”. Utilities are currently still benefiting from the higher volume of the past month, but stocks should urgently be replenished in the coming weeks. However, the current flu wave and the upcoming Easter holidays stand in the way.

Situation with blood donations tense At the moment the situation with blood donations is "tense, but not dramatic", quotes the "dpa" spokeswoman for the DRK blood donation services. However, due to the flu outbreaks that have been evident for around a week and a half, the blood donation services rely on healthy people increasingly taking advantage of the opportunity to donate blood. Although no regional bottlenecks have yet occurred, the low blood donation is increasingly worrying the expert. Not least because many people traveled during the Easter holidays and the blood donations are likely to continue to decline.

Already more than 18,000 cases of flu According to the Influenza Working Group at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the current wave of flu started in the second week of January and has increased significantly since then. In the seventh reporting week of 2015 alone, 6,251 cases of flu confirmed by laboratory tests were reported to the RKI in accordance with the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). Influenza is still high in Germany, according to the influenza working group. In total, more than 18,000 people have contracted the flu in the course of the current season, although this only includes the clearly diagnosed cases. In addition, there is a considerable number of unreported cases, because by far not every flu illness is confirmed by laboratory diagnostics.

Vaccine with limited effectiveness The news agency “dpa” cites the limited effectiveness of the vaccine used, referring to the RKI, as the reason for the drastic spread of this year's flu wave. This does not work optimally because the particularly widespread influenza A H3N2 subtype has changed and the vaccine is no longer suitable. The composition of the vaccine had already been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in spring 2014. (fp)

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