Flu is epidemic in most of Spain

Since the beginning of November, flu infections have not stopped growing in Spain

The flu in Spain is already epidemic in a large part of the country. Its incidence has not stopped increasing in recent weeks. Since the beginning of November, flu infections have not stopped growing. In mid-autumn, barely 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants were registered. And currently, at the beginning of 2023, the incidence rate of influenza stands at about 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Last season, the flu peak occurred in the first week of March. On those dates, the rate was about 220 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

However, this year 2023, the incidence of the flu is notably higher. It should be noted that, unlike COVID-19, it has not become a public health problem. The most important thing is that the number of cases is expected to increase with the return of the holidays, after the Christmas holidays.

“We are currently seeing an increase in flu cases as in the usual pre-pandemic seasons. Without a doubt, the incidence of the flu is higher than last year, which was low and also the 2021-2022 flu season coincided with the omicron pandemic wave where there was an almost exclusive circulation of SARS-CoV-2鈥, quotes Dr. Francisco Sanz, pulmonologist expert in respiratory infections of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery.

Current flu situation in Spain

In the last week of the year, the flu rate in Primary Care stood at 213.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Considering the age groups, the highest rates of influenza occur in the group of children under 5 years of age. In addition, hospitalizations for influenza have also increased in people over 79 years of age. This is reflected in the data offered by the Surveillance System for acute respiratory infections in Spain (SiVIRA).

On the other hand, since the start of the 2022-23 season, 12 flu outbreaks have been reported. Most of them in Catalonia. They have occurred, to be more specific, in a long-stay center, in 8 geriatric centers, in 2 schools/nurseries and in a health facility.

For its part, the global rate of Acute Respiratory Infection in Primary Care (ARIs) and in Hospitals (ARIG), in which pathologies such as flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are considered, shoots the incidence up to 800.1 cases per 100,000 population.

Factors influencing the incidence of influenza

Experts emphasize that this year’s elimination of prevention measures against COVID-19 has a special role. Especially, the removal of the mask. Added to this, the fact that during the last two seasons there have been very low levels of flu virus circulation has affected natural group immunity. Because of this, experts advise this year, more than ever, to opt for flu vaccination. Especially in the most vulnerable groups such as people over 65 or those who suffer from some type of respiratory disease.

If you would like to consult an English-speaking healthcare provider about the Flu or any other health issues, you can find a full range of consultancies in the ESHA Spain business directory

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