Influenza incidence in Aragon falls, but remains above epidemic levels

this Incidence of influenza in primary care in Aragon It dropped last week but is still above epidemic levels. According to data provided by the Ministry of Health, which will be published in the Epidemiological Bulletin on Thursday, the rate has increased from 334.7 to 231.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of registered acute respiratory infection cases also declined, from 1,368.3 to 1,071.9.

The latest data can confirm that the curve has passed its peak, although in the community, health center mask requirements will remain in place for at least another week. This is a measure implemented by the Ministry of Health until the incidence rate decreases for two consecutive weeks, regardless of whether it exceeds epidemic levels. At the national level, different communities have begun to lift mask mandates.

The flu epidemic has put pressure on the health system for several days. It must be remembered that between January 8 and 14, as many as 834 influenza emergencies were registered in public hospitals, accounting for 7.1% of the total number of visits, 226 of which required admission.

This is fifth week in a row Influenza incidence in primary care exceeded the base threshold of 59.6 cases per 100,000 people set for this season. Regardless, this would be the lowest level so far in 2024, as cases reached 303.5 in the first week of the year. The Ministry of Health pointed out that this is the first time the incidence rate in the autonomous region has fallen since it exceeded the epidemic threshold in the week of December 18 to 24, 2023, when there were 69.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

The incidence rate has declined in the three places province Aragonese. In Zaragoza, influenza cases increased from 358.8 to 251.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, and acute respiratory infection cases increased from 1,358.2 to 1,086.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Huesca, influenza cases fell from 230.7 to 162.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, and acute respiratory infection cases from 1,222.4 to 896.5 per 100,000 inhabitants; in Teruel from 329.1 to 196.6 and from 1,694.2 to 1,259.5.

By group, Increased incidence in ages 0 to 4 years and 5 to 14 years, but more moderate than in previous weeks. Among children aged 0 to 4 years, if there were 486.5 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the first week of January, then in the second week it was 716.4 and in the third week 736.5. A similar pattern occurred among those aged 5 to 14: 238 cases per 100,000 people in the first week of the year; 437.8 in the second and 500.3 in the third. In the remaining groups, it dropped.

From the overall rate acute respiratory infectionAccording to health data, the community registered 1,071.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants between January 15 and 21, similar to the level reached in the penultimate week of 2023.

Aragon continues to actively promote influenza vaccination at the health center.healthy Immunization coverage expanded to the entire population a week ago, need not belong to one of the groups that recommended that dose before that moment. In Zaragoza, five centers have been set up where participation can take place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Since late 2023, influenza epidemics and other respiratory illnesses have put pressure on the health system.To stop the spread of infection, the Ministry of Health has implemented Mandatory wearing of masks in all health centers, thus extending the directive issued by the Aragonese Ministry of Health requiring professionals in health and social care centers and users of health center waiting rooms to wear masks. Additionally, in primary care, recommendations have been made to activate breathing circuits or specific rooms to avoid the spread of the virus.

Flu vaccination campaign

There are 313,035 doses of influenza vaccine administered in the 2023-2024 season, including 16,104 doses for the 6 to 59 month age group and 200,290 doses for the 65+ age group. The campaign started in early October for high-risk groups and has been open to the general public since January 15.

at this Agenda starts week one Aragon All Aragonese have received 10,598 doses of influenza vaccine. The vast majority – nearly 6,800 people – were in age groups not included in the original instructions for the campaign.

440 children aged 6 months to 4 years also benefit from this protection; a further 3,700 people aged 60 and over. The vaccination rate among children in Aragon is 41.4%. The total is 57.8%.

In this way, opening up vaccination to the entire population and calling for vaccination improves immunization among groups considered to be at higher risk of influenza complications.

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