An increase in influenza cases and a decline in the coronavirus vaccination rate are filling the emergency department

An increase in influenza cases and a decline in the coronavirus vaccination rate are filling the emergency department

Although the health data reflects a “slight decrease”, in the week of 25 to 31 December, in cases of acute respiratory infections (possibly related to the fact that, with Christmas, the sentinel sample collection that is usually carried out in Mondays and Tuesdays each week), the pressure of care continues to grow. A total of 66,565 cases of acute respiratory infections were recorded this week.

In a statement, the Ministry once again conveys “reassurance and calm” to the public, and confirms that aid agencies are “ready to provide qualitative assistance.” Slott adds, “Emergency consultations and income are within the expected numbers for these appointments.”

Hospitals are seeing “a lot of saturation” in their emergency departments. Some like the one in Terrassa or Moisès Broggi (Sant Joan Despí) talk about the “collapse” of their emergency departments. “We had a breakdown at the weekend mainly because of the shortage of nurses,” explains a health worker in Moisés Bruje. Yesterday, there were 88 patients waiting in the emergency department of this hospital and another 74 waiting to be admitted to the floor, but with no beds available.

Health workers warn that the majority of these patients, who mainly go to the emergency department for treatment of flu and Covid, are over 70 years old. They are people with chronic diseases (such as heart or respiratory) that are not compensable. However, emergency departments in children's hospitals such as Sant Joan de Déu (Esplugues de Llobregat) are also “very full” of children with influenza and coronavirus. Of course, this year, thanks to the vaccine, bronchiolitis has decreased.

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In the emergency department of the Park Tauli Hospital in Sabadell, one of the most affected areas, there are patients who have to wait “several days” to get on the floor, according to sources consulted by El Periodico. These sources add: “There are a lot of viruses and they spread in inpatient facilities. They are usually not very serious, but they compensate for previous illnesses.”

Vall d'Hebron Hospital has had to open new beds and the center is “overwhelmed” with influenza and coronavirus. At the Barcelona clinic, there was an average wait of up to 10 hours in the emergency department on Tuesday.

According to the latest health data, influenza virus remains the most prevalent virus and transmission continues to rise (present in 45.2% of samples), followed by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV, in 15.8% of samples) and SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus.

Actual fist pic

The current peak of influenza is 153 cases per 100,000 people. This number is higher than last year but lower than in the years before the pandemic, when the average was between 350 and 400 cases. Infectious disease scientists believe this rise is linked to the fact that because of COVID-19, the population has rarely been exposed to influenza in the past three years, so they have low immunity.

65% of those hospitalized and 77% of those who presented to ICS hospital emergency departments with influenza last week had not been vaccinated. The Ministry of Health indicates that the level of transmission of infection is high and that the high rates of infection in children under the age of 4 indicate that the disease may continue to rise.

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For epidemiologists like Joan Caila, a member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE), what worries him most is Covid-19, because last week there was an increase in admissions to manufacturers (there are 620 cases throughout Catalonia). , 176 more than the previous week), as well as UCIs (there are 24, a total of 11 more).

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