Each laboratory message can trigger the next alarm and his Team to the limits. “An old people’s home, a refugee accommodation. Best on Friday evening just before the weekend.” Lutz Ehlkes sits on the tenth floor of an unadorned Bürobaus at the düsseldorf main station. He is one of the Coronavirus-detectives who have been fighting for weeks nationwide in each health Board against the pandemic.
The view over Düsseldorf’s fine. Only epidemiologist Ehlkes currently has little time to look out the window. “Since March, I’m practically continuously in use,” he says. With nearly 50 colleagues, he is in Düsseldorf, the Coronavirus on the heels. “What’s the tear down on Overtime and willingness to work in the day, I would not have thought that was possible before.”
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As epidemiologist for an infection
If an Infected person is called, the according to a certain scheme: “We will inform the Tested that you have attached. Then we ask, how are you, if you feel the symptoms, and ensure that you walk around on the street. Later, in a second call, we try to identify their contact persons to contact, the and also quarantine,” says Ehlkes.
In between, the Infected get about an hour of time, to sort and to think, with whom they had contact. Contact means: “15 minutes Face – to-Face unprotected.” It also has a shorter body contact is sufficient but, especially, if body fluids flow: “A kiss – that’s all.”
Four to six days after infection from breaking the disease in the rule. Two days before the outbreak of will put itself to the Carrier. From this point to the test result, time passes. This period, the Virus detectives.
The Coronavirus is tricky
Stand-alone and Vorerkrankte be called in the days that followed, several times, because the Coronavirus is tricky: “We had cases that were gorgeous – and the next day it was so bad that they could not call the ambulance.”
First it was: I was in Heinsberg on this carnival party. Then it was: I was in Ischgl – the were ten cases in a day.” One of the first Infected had 100 contact persons. “The us is overrun pretty. All had to be informed and instructed, that they are now in quarantine.”
One of the more practical problems: “Who today still stands in the phone book? Who does not want to be reached, one not reached.” Internet portals such as LinkedIn have led in some case to the goal. In a hurry, the Team was increased. The so-called Containment Scouts came, often the medical students. Containment is containment.
Disease protection measures showed effect
At some point the fight seemed to be futile: “in mid-March, we had exponential growth.” But then the action handles and the Numbers fell. “It worked great,” says Ehlkes. The disease protection measures, the number of contact persons has decreased rapidly.
The “Super-Gau”, that is currently infected residents of a nursing home or an infected Patient on the cancer ward. “As we make cuts of all employees, in order to find the one who brought the Virus in, otherwise all is contagious.”
In case of an outbreak in a refugee home, it helped, a vacant Hotel to rent and to pick up all the from the facility, the Infected and contact people separately to accommodate: “In the Hotel has no one more.”
It is only about stem the pandemic
If Ehlkes needs to get out on the disease front, he has a blue-and-yellow jacket with four stars on it and the imprint: a Public Health Authority. “It makes an impression – especially with people who speak no English.” Already for a long time, it’s no longer about the infection chain retrospectively to understand. “We were not able to relatively early.” In the meantime, it’s just a matter of, stem the pandemic.
Most of them are grateful for the call, have an understanding of the measures and the Emergence of symptoms, self-quarantined on their return, but there are problem groups: “people who are afraid of losing their jobs, going from a false sense of duty to work sick,” says Ehlkes. In addition, drug addicts or the mentally Ill, of which not all of the pads have held.
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The biggest problem group but the silent Carriers without symptoms, the aware of their own infection nothing, and of which the health Department is nothing experiences are. They make up about half of the Infected, or even more, as well. As is the case with almost every epidemic of socially vulnerable are particularly at risk: Close living conditions, shared rooms are potential powder kegs.”
The first case in Düsseldorf, lived with his family in a large house: “The has been pulled back in a Granny flat, and not even the members of his family infected.” Provide power to the epidemiologists, that it could come in November to a second shaft parallel to the wave of Flu. “A double-infection is, of course, much more dangerous.”
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