the Influenza infections continue to rise In Catalonia, with A High transmission level. According to health data updated Tuesday, the current estimated peak incidence is 344 cases per 100 thousand people, Similar to the years before the pandemicIt reached about 350-400 cases per 100 thousand people. Entire It directly impacts urgent care activity, popular emergency rooms, which already serve 5,000 people per day on average in CUAPs and more than 10,000 in hospitals. To deal with it Emergency stations have been activated Which pass, for example, by Reduce scheduled non-urgent surgical activity and prioritize ambulatory and urgent surgery and oncology.
The data shows that, In the first week of the year, 14,903 cases of influenza were diagnosed in primary caresignificantly higher than previous seasons marked by Covid-19 (4,184 in the same period last year). Coronavirus cases are declining slightlybut no The number of people accepted into the factory increased to 794,67 More than the previous week, there are 30 or 6 more in intensive care units.
Data from the Information System for Infection Surveillance in Catalonia (SIVIC) shows a Increased incidence of respiratory infectionsafter a few weeks in which they were affected by the Christmas holidays and decreased use of care services.
the Influenza maintains an upward trendwith There were 14,903 cases diagnosed in primary care in the first week of the year, to 12,317 for the previous week. Those responsible for Health expects that the flu will reach its peak in the next few days – at the end of this week or the nextsaid Council Member Manelle Balcells on Monday – and SIVIC points out that in the pre-pandemic period it was the second or third week of the year.
At a rate of 189 cases diagnosed in primary schools per 100,000 people, Flu infection rates are much higher than the previous three seasons, conditional on the COVID-19 outbreak And measures to prevent it (last year, the peak of influenza in Catalonia reached 10,526 cases and was already much higher than in the 2021-2022 season).
By age group, influenza cases increased in all groups except children. Thus, primary care among children under 4 years of age recorded 937 cases of influenza, compared to 1007 in the previous week, and among children aged 5 to 14 years, 818 (915). Instead, 6,028 cases of influenza were diagnosed last week among people ages 15 to 44 (4,841 the previous week); 4,069 in the 45- to 59-year-old group (3,055); 1,316 in the 60 to 69 age group (1,066); 951 in people aged 70 to 79 years (861) and 784 in people over 80 years of age (572).
Influenza vaccine coverage among seniors is virtually unchanged compared to the previous week: 66% of those over 80 have been vaccinated (65% in the last week of 2023) and 53% of those aged 70-79 (same percentage).
Regarding Covid-19, cases detected in primary care rose from 5,072 in the last week of last year to 4,550 in the first week of 2024.. The current rate is 58 cases per 100,000 population.
The number of people admitted with Covid-19 has continued to rise, but not as much as at the end of December, when it rose from 544 to 727 in the last week of the year. There are now 794 people hospitalized with coronavirus, including patients who may have been admitted for other reasons and were later diagnosed with COVID-19. In intensive care units, 30 people were admitted due to COVID-19; Last week 24.
The vaccination coverage rate this season for people at risk of infection with Covid-19 is 59% among people over the age of 80 and 45% among people between the ages of 70 and 79 years.
VRS continues to decline
Cases of the virus that causes bronchiolitis in children, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), continue to decline, and the infection rate is much lower than last year. Last week, 559 cases were recorded (640 the previous week), 333 of them in children under one year old (320 in this age group).
In mid-December, cases of respiratory syncytial disease peaked at 1,041 cases, far from last season's peak of 1,872 cases, in a winter that was difficult for hospitals, with many cases of bronchiolitis emerging. This winter was the first in which children up to six months of age were vaccinated against RSV; Immunization is associated with a decrease in bronchiolitis cases and, above all, hospitalization.
More urgent care activities
All of this results in urgent care activity that remains high: CUAPs see more than 5,000 emergency cases per day on average, and hospitals more than 10,000. In the past 30 days, activity has seen a global increase of 5.2%, with a peak of 9% compared to the previous month.
In this period, emergency cases rose particularly in CUAPs, with an increase of 13%, while in hospitals they increased by 1.8%. Meanwhile, the income ratio rose to 11.8%, two points higher than the annual average of 9.8%.
Faced with this scenario, contingency plans were activated to reduce pressure on health care facilities, such as reducing scheduled non-urgent surgical activity and prioritizing ambulatory, urgent, and oncology surgical activity. Urgent home hospitalization activity is also increasing and the number of places in intermediate care facilities is increasing.
Regarding assistance activity in primary care, in an epidemiological environment where influenza and Covid are prevalent, the target is to increase activity in regular primary care consultation by 5.8% in the same week of last year, when this situation was not so high. Especially in face-to-face counseling and home care.
Mandatory masks in health centers, vaccination, and advice to prevent infection
In these weeks of great spread of viruses, The mask has become mandatory again as of Tuesday in Catalan health centres. also It is recommended for use elsewhere if you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection.
The Ministry of Health reminds us of tips to prevent infection, such as: Wash your hands often and properly; Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing; ventilation Interior spaces Limit contacts or stay home if the person is not feeling well; Consult a healthcare professional if you are elderly, have chronic diseases, or have poor disease progression Get the flu and COVID-19 vaccine if you are in poor health Or be part of another of the indicated groups. He also recommends making an appointment to get vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19 if you're not protected.
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