The Germans are sick. The RKI recently counted over a million visits to the doctor because of respiratory infections. And it feels like the cold never goes away for many people. Why is that – and how you can still get rid of the runny nose.

Cough, runny nose, sore throat: almost four million Germans have a cold. This emerges from the latest weekly report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). For the second week of the year, the health experts also counted 1.1 million visits to the doctor due to acute respiratory diseases (ARE).

For many people, the symptoms seem persistent. You don’t feel healthy anymore. Why is that? Experts cite two reasons for this.

On the one hand, it is actually the case that there is currently more time to recovery than was the case before the pandemic. Family doctor Thomas Aßmann told the “Bild”: “The coughing attacks and the recovery time from infections last much longer.”

According to the doctor, viruses are constantly changing. And that applies not only to flu and corona viruses, but also to harmless cold pathogens. The body is therefore confronted with cold viruses that have changed significantly since before the pandemic.

At the same time, according to experts, it is possible that not only do you need a longer recovery period, but you actually keep getting infected with new viruses. British doctor Kamila Hawthorne explained that “one infection after the other” is appearing this winter.

She told the Daily Mail that this phenomenon could be attributed to the Covid lockdowns. These would have weakened our immunity to seasonal pathogens. So people caught one pathogen after the other. “They’re all different, and overcoming one infection doesn’t confer immunity to another,” Hawthorne said.

There are still ways to speed up recovery from a cold and boost your immune system. ENT doctor Bernhard Junge-Hülsing reveals six tips:

When is it better to see a doctor? Junge-Hülsing says: “In the case of severe pain, at any time and after two days at the latest. A doctor, pediatrician or ENT doctor should be consulted if the fever rises in waves or if there are symptoms that last longer than seven days.”