Flu cases treble in one week in Spain

FLU activity in Spain has trebled in just one week with 212.8 cases registered per 100,000 inhabitants according to the latest data from the Carlos III Health Institute.

The Institute stated that the 20 deaths from the virus reported so far are more than had been expected.

The latest report from the institute’s National Epidemic Surveillance Network for January 12-18 showed the increase in flu, with all areas of the country being over the base-rate established for this flu season of 58.52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The increase in cases has been significant for all age groups, with the highest rates found in the under 15s.

Asturias has been the worst affected so far with 467 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Castilla y Leon (408.2), Castilla La Mancha (352), Extremadura (267.6), Melilla (257.9), Andalucia (239.3), The Basque Country (236.5), La Rioja (229.4) and Cantabria (218.2).

The amount of people hospitalised for flu has multiplied by four, from 45 registered the week before, to 187 in the latest report.

Confirmed flu deaths also increased from three the week before to 20.

Spain’s Daily Death Monitoring System (MoMo), which includes deaths registered at 2,462 civil registries representing 81 per cent of the population, showed that 95 per cent of the deaths were patients older than 44 and 88 per cent of them had previous chronic conditions.

The report stated that 55 per cent of recorded flu sufferers in high-risk groups for whom the flu-jab is recommended, had not been vaccinated.

Women make up 58 per cent of the hospitalised flu sufferers and four of these women were pregnant.

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