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Diseases that are much more dangerous than corona

Respiratory diseases, which cause the most victims in Germany every year

Is the virus still a cause for the unrest? How many people contract contagious diseases in Germany each year? What is the number of deaths? Read more about diseases that are much more dangerous than corona.

The coronavirus is keeping the world in suspense - with the recent cases in the Chinese province of Hubei, the total number of infected people has risen to well over 24,000 worldwide. That is twice as many people infected than when the Sars respiratory disease broke out in 2002/2003.

So far, twelve cases are known in Germany. After all, the patients are stable and are looked after in isolation.

These 10 diseases were most often fatal

Deaths in Germany in 2017 and 2016

illness 2017 2016 change
Other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 32.104 29.911 +7,33 %
Pneumonia, pathogen unspecified 19.113 18.002 +6,17 %
Pneumonia from solid and liquid substances 3519 4000 - 12,03 %
Other interstitial lung diseases 3496 3355 +4,20 %
Emphysema 1870 1616 +15,72  %
Bronchial asthma 928 921 +0,76 %
Bronchitis, not described as acute or chronic 846 562 +50,53 %
Flu, viruses not proven 806 224 +259,82 %
Other respiratory diseases 656 381 +72,18 %
Respiratory failure, not elsewhere classified 480 1456 - 67,03 %
Total 63.818 60.428 +5,61 %

Federal Statistical Office as of January 2020

Grippe (Influenza)


In the table, the flu is far below, but the impression is deceptive. The flu alone is rarely fatal, but it often precedes fatal pneumonia!

According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 13,000 people have contracted influenza in Germany alone since December, 32 of whom died. Nobody panics about it.

How do you get flu?

The Robert Koch Institute usually learns directly about droplet infection, but also indirectly via contaminated surfaces and hands-on the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx.

The number of cases of illness is extremely high every year: "Between 2 and 9 million visits to the doctor and between 400,000 and 600,000 infections occur due to influenza each year," said a spokeswoman for the Robert Koch Institute.

Last year there were 182,000 cases confirmed by laboratory diagnostics and 40,000 more serious cases that had to be treated in hospital.

In most cases, however, the cause of death in fatal flu diseases is severe pneumonia, i.e. pneumonia.


Lung infection

There are two reasons why pneumonia with an unknown pathogen is the second leading cause of death from these diseases:

19,578 people died of pneumonia in Germany in 2017 - often as a result of the flu. Only 1176 people died of other symptoms of the flu. So if the flu is fatal, it is mostly pneumonia.

It is often no longer possible to precisely classify the original causative agent of the flu or later pneumonia, which is why the number of diseases listed in the table is by far the greatest without a known pathogen.

This is how dangerous flu and pneumonia are

Deaths in Germany in 2017 and 2016

Disease (DEATH) 2017 2016 change
Flu (total) 1176 410 +186,83 %
Pneumonia (total) 19.578 18.705 +4,67 %
Total 20.754 19.115 +8,57%

Federal Statistical Office as of January 2020

And not only flu can be fatal. In Germany, there are always various diseases of the respiratory tract, which in many cases are fatal.

Chronic lung diseases

Most fatalities among respiratory diseases cause chronic lung diseases - 32,104 deaths in 2017 alone!

Asthma, bronchitis or emphysema (the consequence of chronic bronchitis) as a cause of death are rather rare.

Conclusion: With the number of pneumonia, which is often preceded by viral infections, the number of people suffering from coronavirus in Germany is no longer as dramatic.

However, great care must be taken to ensure that the virus does not spread further, but nobody should panic.

Coronavirus - Der Weg zum Impfstoff ist lang

The corona virus

With regard to the coronavirus in Germany, there is no need to worry about dealing with the disease: the World Health Organization considers the measures against the coronavirus in Germany to be sufficient.

"Germany reacted wonderfully: A case is recognized, the people are isolated, treated, the contacts are tracked, the data are passed on to the WHO," said Christian Lindmeier, spokesman for the World Health Organization on Thursday in the ARD Mittagsmagazin.

The current situation in Germany

Twelve cases were reported in Germany. 28,300 cases have been reported worldwide, 565 of whom have died. (As of February 6th, 2020 Federal Ministry of Health)

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