Austria records highest ever daily coronavirus case tally

Austria on Wednesday recorded its highest ever daily tally of new coronavirus cases, with just under 2,000 confirmed infections.

Austria records highest ever daily coronavirus case tally
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Photo: JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP

The Austrian health ministry confirmed that 1,958 infections had been recorded in the 24 hours to Wednesday, Kurier reports.

This is the highest ever confirmed in a 24-hour period – eclipsing the previous record from Saturday, October 17th (1,747 new cases)

On a per capita basis, Austria has double the infections of its neighbour Germany. 

Perhaps most worryingly for authorities, the rise in infections has been accompanied by an increase in hospitalisations. 

There were 71 people admitted to hospital on Wednesday, bringing the total to 960. Of those, 147 are being treated in intensive care. 

Explained: Can I invite people to my home under Austria's new coronavirus rules? 

Situation serious in Salzburg 

Over the same period, Salzburg also recorded its highest daily total of new coronavirus cases. 

In the 24 hours to Wednesday, 197 people tested positive. There are currently 230 active cases for every 100,000 residents in the state. 

The community of Kuchl has already been forced to quarantine, while Tennengau has been switched to red on the country’s coronavirus traffic light warning system.

Over the past seven days, Salzburg has an average of 197.4 infections per 100,000 people – the highest in Switzerland. 

This is followed by Vorarlberg (178.3) and Tirol (174.6). Austria as a whole has an infection rate of 121.4 per 100,000 people over the past seven days. 

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EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

Austria's capital city Vienna has begun registration appointments for those who want to get a monkeypox vaccine. Here's what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

As of September 9th, people can make reservations for monkeypox vaccination in Vienna, authorities announced. It is possible to register for the vaccine using the health service line by calling 1450 or via the Impfservice website.

The City of Vienna has said the pre-registration is needed because all planning will be done through a central system due to a shortage of vaccines.

“Please understand that due to the vaccine shortage, we cannot offer preventive monkeypox vaccination to everyone interested. We can use the reservation platform to quickly allocate available appointments and contact interested parties as soon as there are more vaccines”, the authorities said.

After the registration, people will be contacted to book appointments on September 14th. The first available date will be September 19th.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox in Austria: What causes it and is it serious?

Who should be vaccinated against monkeypox?

Vaccination of the general population is currently not recommended.

Preventive vaccination is only offered to health care workers with a very high risk of exposure to people with monkeypox (designated monkeypox departments/outpatient clinics/offices) and persons with individual risk behaviour (persons with frequently changing sexual contacts), the City of Vienna said.

The health authorities in Vienna also have a specific information sheet in English with more information on the disease.

Monkeypox is a notifiable disease caused by a virus closely related to the smallpox virus and which can cause a condition similar to smallpox but rarely deadly. People with immunodeficiencies, pregnant women and children are at risk of more severe symptoms.

The virus spreads from person to person through contact with infectious skin lesions, via air droplets through speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other body fluids, and when having prolonged and close physical contact, e.g. through sexual intercourse.

READ ALSO: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

Usually, the first symptoms show up 5 to 14 days (at the latest, 21 days) after exposure. These include fever, general exhaustion, headaches, muscle and body aches, gastrointestinal problems and frequently painfully swollen lymph nodes.

“If you have symptoms and have had contact with someone with monkeypox, you must self-isolate at once and call 1450. If you have a confirmed monkeypox infection, you need to stay in self-isolation until the last crust has fallen off”, the Austrian authorities added.