“The worst of the flu is yet to come”

Jordi Reina, head of virology at Son Espases, remembers that an outbreak of respiratory viruses will occur at the end of this month

The number of social gatherings in the first week of this year was lower than at the end of 2023, with multiple suspensions due to lack of quorum. “We too have fallen”, many WhatsApps are praying. This situation is not new, the arrival of cold brings different respiratory viruses with it every year, and influenza epidemics sweep through health centers and hospitals, eventually leading to saturation. This story, to be repeated, has already been told. What’s new this year is that the spread of mild symptoms appears to be reaching new levelsIt’s a perception, but everyone sneezes, has a low-grade fever, or has a stuffy nose these days.

The Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) defined it last Friday as Three epidemics where three different viruses coexist at the same time, influenza A (H3N2) and A (H1N1), the already well-known new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which seriously affects especially infants under one year old. In the last week of this year, the global incidence rate of acute respiratory infections was 271.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with influenza having the highest incidence rate.

perfect storm

This background has been described all week first complication This can be complicated by the fact that in the hospitals of Inca and Manacor there are more than 30 patients waiting for a bed in Son Llàtzer, or by reassigning consultations from primary care to be able to respond to emergencies.

this monday Second quarter of school year begins With the influx into classrooms, Cold front arrives and first infection among professionalsHang in there, the curve is coming. Children are the main spreaders of the virus. Children under 5 are just as vulnerable as children over 65, said Juan Carlos de Carlos, regional coordinator for pediatrics. However, this message has not yet penetrated the population. Following the advice of these experts, Spain has approved the provision of influenza vaccines to this age group for the first time to protect them and prevent transmission among other vulnerable groups.

Good point, but supported by parents They hardly take 20% of children to health centers. This decision is surprising because recommended aspiration in the pediatric age group is often not challenged. There could be many reasons, from COVID vaccine fatigue, to the influence of new anti-vaccination voices, to people’s fear of the flu having faded, or because it’s a vaccine that hasn’t been updated in about 60 years, even though it’s 100% Reliable, but it’s not the most efficient.

And at this time, “The worst is yet to come”Jordi Reina, head of virology at Son Espases, recalls, “With the exception of coronavirus, all respiratory diseases start in children, who are the first to be infected and the main transmitters, who subsequently spread it For parents and grandparents.”

Where to go after the Christmas holidays social gathering It led to the spread of the virus, and then came the next litmus test, Return to classroom. Currently, children under 4 years old have the highest number of infections, followed by those aged 5 to 15 years. From this age group onwards, we only have to grow upwards to reach those who are most vulnerable. Therefore, if an emergency situation in a health center becomes complicated at this time, the impact will shift to more severe patients and hospital areas a few days later.

Dr. Rayner remembers The peak of the epidemic last year occurred in the first half of Februaryso: “We still have four weeks to go up.”

Surprisingly, public administrations are currently taking little corresponding action. The hospital’s contingency plan is unknown; it avoids declaring mandatory masks in health centers, and the advice for tomorrow’s large events is common sense: “Don’t take a child with a fever to school.”

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