This article first appeared on RTL.de.
Children are again the ones who suffer. This is also evident in the new waves of infection. There are signs of an "intensive catch-up effect", said Barmer board member Christof Straub at the presentation of the 2023 doctor's report in Berlin. Everything that was suppressed during Corona by the lack of contacts is now coming up with full force:
"Of course, with the end of the corona pandemic and above all the protective regulations, there are now more frequent contacts again and this also creates chains of infection that did not previously exist to the same extent," said Barmer's press spokesman, Athanasios Drougias, in an interview with RTL.
Scarlet fever, chickenpox, mouth rot, mononucleosis, measles, rubella, scab lichen, three-day fever and ringworm were examined. Many of these diseases usually strike the very young children. It's different with the new wave and that's where the problem lies, according to the spokesman: "Some of the children are already at the end of their kindergarten days after the three years of the corona pandemic or are already in school and something like that can sometimes lead to critical courses ."
The authors especially warn against a scarlet fever wave in older children. Scarlet fever is an infectious bacterial disease that can cause chills, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a non-itchy rash in a day or two. Possible complications include inflammation of the middle ear, sinuses, and lungs.
According to the report, scarlet fever infections decreased most significantly during Corona, by a full 90 percent. In 2019 there were still 2083 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, in 2021 there will only be 217 per 100,000. Closely followed by ringworm with 81 and chickenpox with 64 percent decrease.
What is surprising: despite contact restrictions, hand-mouth-foot diseases and vesicular stomatitis with exanthema are the only ones that have not decreased, although they are mainly transmitted through physical contact. They are caused by viruses and cause a rash on the mouth, palms and feet.
According to the report, more children fell ill in the last quarter of 2021 than during the entire period under review since 2005. The most critical thing here is that you can get infected more than once, including adults. Will there also be a catch-up effect here? The authors cannot rule that out.
The press spokesman for Barmer warns that the effect will not overload medical practices – this should be avoided. (jsa)