The days are shorter, the temperature drops and the flu epidemic is a fact. That means busy season for the virologists in the UMCG on the Healthy Ageing Campus. Is the chance that you will get sick from a virus bigger when the “R” is in the month? And how dangerous (or harmless) is a cold anyway? Kennisinzicht asked UMCG virologist Coretta van Leer-Buter.
"To begin with the first question: As January comes nearer, the chances that you will be very ill with a cold virus becomes greater," says Van Leer-Buter. "January, February and March are the months of the influenza virus - commonly known as the flu."
Cold outside, warm inside
In the cold of winter influenza feels at its best. It spreads from person to person so it is easier this time of the year because people like to be inside when it's cold outside. Influenza can can make you quite ill: fever, sore throat, colds, it's all in.
A bad cold or flu is obviously very annoying, but is it dangerous? "No," said van Leer-Buter, "for healthy people, even the flu is usually not dangerous. But for babies and elderly or seriously ill people, the flu can be dangerous. "And that's just the tricky part; those are the people who are in the UMCG.
>> Read the full article about this flu season and the impact on the UMCG [Dutch]