For many people from Munich, Wiesn is the fifth season, and many of them attribute their later ailments to a sudden illness rather than intoxication – and apparently this may be more frequent than expected.
South German newspaper announced this on Thursday the first: According to nationwide reports of selected medical practices, Gehusten near Munich begins each year in the 41st and 42nd calendar week in October – while the rest of Germany is still healthy.
"There is no other reasonable explanation than Oktoberfest," quoted Ulrike Protzer, head of the Institute of Virology at the Munich Polytechnic and the same institution at Helmholtz Zentrum München. The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin collects reports on selected medical practices regarding respiratory diseases and creates, among other maps, which show the course of the annual cold wave.
Beer tents are a good breeding ground for viruses
However, the connection has not been scientifically proven, said Protzer at the request of dpa. In addition, it's not the flu, but a cold. Oktoberfest is the optimal environment for viruses. "People are close together. If someone has a cold, the virus quickly finds many new hosts, 'said the professor. "Alcohol weakens the immune system, and a warm, humid atmosphere without direct sunlight provides a good environment for viruses."
The good news: Oktoberfest guests' stomach and intestines remain mostly healthy. "Fortunately, bacterial food poisoning is not available. That's where our controls come in. "The hosts pay attention to the highest level of hygiene – otherwise approval for the next year may fluctuate.
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dpa / MH