Respiratory illness cases drop in St. Louis

The atypical climate of high mid-winter temperatures in the province has brought about changes in the transmission of respiratory diseases. The latest epidemiological data released by the St. Louis Department of Health pointed to a decrease in cases of bronchiolitis, flu and pneumonia.

In addition to this positive outlook, Rodrigo Verdugo, head of the Ministry of Health’s epidemiology program, insisted that people attend vaccination operations to complete the program.

“Bronchiolitis has come down a lot. We went from a peak of about 180 cases per week in week 26 to less than 40 cases now. The main cause of the disease is respiratory syncytial virus. The samples we analyzed were mainly from hospitalized patients in the province. boys and girls to find out the microbes responsible for this pathology”, explains Verdugo.

According to him, the statistics (prevalence corridors) are based on data from the past five years. This gives a map that defines a graph of regions with different zones (success, safety, alert and outbreak).

Currently, cCases of bronchiolitis are in the safe zone. “Compared to the previous week (i.e. week 32), the disease decreased by 11.4%,” said the expert.

Verdugo said the unexpected drop in respiratory illnesses in the province this year compared to 2022 is linked to this year’s unusual climate change.

“Bronchiolitis has its seasonality. But right now, except it’s winter, the weather doesn’t have those characteristics. So, because it’s less crowded, there’s very little transmission, and that’s why we’re seeing them reflected in these numbers. Last year There was a drop, but not as abruptly as this year. What happened was that the bronchiolitis started before,” he commented.

With regard to influenza-like illnesses, Verdugo explained that they also decreased, but not as dramatically. The province is currently in an alert zone for the disease.

“In terms of flu, we have one tool, and that’s the flu vaccine. All vaccinations in the province are available, so people who have not been vaccinated can get vaccinated. It can be used year-round,” he said.

Finally, the statistic also includes pneumonia, which also shows a significant reduction in performance. In this case, they move from the alert zone to the safe zone, always taking into account the epidemiological data of week 33, the last.

“In week 26, there were 150 cases of pneumonia per week, and now it’s down to around 100, a reduction of almost 30 percent,” Verdugo said.

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