Catalonia enters the Christmas season with high rates of acute respiratory infections (ARI) without yet reaching the peak of the epidemic. Coronavirus cases and related incomes are also increasing, especially among the population over 70 years of age. Of course, respiratory syncytial bronchiolitis in children as young as six months is below the threshold thanks to this year's immunization campaign. It is expected that social interaction these days will lead to an increase in infections.
In addition, there is a higher-than-expected increase in pneumonia cases diagnosed in primary care, mainly affecting children under 14 years of age, according to data from the Ministry of Health's civic portal. Epidemiologists are particularly concerned about the low coronavirus vaccination rate. In Catalonia, they are at lower levels than last year, by 30% on average (in 2022 it was 42%). By age group, the percentage is 58% for those over 80 years of age, and 44% among those aged 70 to 79 years. Doctors consider it a low percentage. By contrast, the flu vaccine reaches 65% of at-risk over-80s and 53% of over-70s at risk.
According to Šević, the epidemiological surveillance system of the Ministry of Health, during the week from December 11 to 17, cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) show a clear rise with the long Purisima bridge which likely led to a decrease in case detection.
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