Cases of respiratory infections continue to increase. As the latest report released this Thursday by the Carlos III Health Institute Surveillance System shows, incidence rates continue to rise, especially for influenza, The positivity rate is 46%That’s well above last week’s 27% and the weekly peak of 36% reached last quarter.
How has the epidemic evolved?
According to the latest report from the Surveillance System for Acute Respiratory Infections (SIVIRA), the epidemic continues to rise in week 52 (December 25-31). Primary care cases are increasing, with an influenza incidence rate of 438.3 per 100,000 inhabitants (compared to 249.4 per 100,000 hours the previous week); hospital cases are also increasing (9.5 per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 5.9 the previous week), with COVID-19 cases have also increased, albeit to a smaller extent.
In Week 52, global incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in primary care increases to 952.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitantsThis compares with 921.7 cases in the previous week and is well above the 533.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants registered at the beginning of December.
What does the doctor want? Do I still need to wear a mask when going to a health center?
It is estimated that the seasonal epidemic will not reach its peak for at least two or three weeks, which is why the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc) recommends the resumption of the “extraordinary” protective measures used during the pandemic.l Mandatory wearing of masks in primary health care centers To reduce infection or create isolation spaces in waiting rooms. Additionally, they asked people to visit these centers only if they need medical care.
The Federation of Associations for the Defense of Public Health (FADSP) also claimed yesterday that measures needed to be taken strengthen health systems, especially primary care, given the recent increase in the incidence of respiratory infections in Spain, leading to a “situation of saturated health centers”. The organization also believes that the obligation to wear masks in health centers should be re-implemented and the possibility of wearing masks in public transport evaluated, although it stresses that “current reality shows that the health administration has not yet taken the necessary measures”. Take the necessary actions to prevent and/or respond to this situation, which is not new as it happens every year at this time and is therefore completely expected.
Can I still get vaccinated if I already have the virus?
Jaime Jesús Pérez Martín, president of the Spanish Vaccinology Association (AEV), recalled that vaccination was recommended even after the infection had passed. “If you have recovered from the acute episode, even if you still have a cough, you can get vaccinated. Logically, you would be vaccinated against other possible strains than the strain you have passed. If you have H1N1 For influenza, you will receive the H3N2 vaccine and the Victoria influenza B vaccine.
Although influenza A is simply called influenza A, as the AEV president clarified, it comes in two types: “H1N1 and H3N2. “There is also influenza B, which also has two types, Victoria and Yamagata, although only the first is circulating now.”.
Which strains are trending?
The latest report of the Acute Respiratory Infection Surveillance System states that among the 1,003 influenza viruses for which type/subtype information has been determined, 923 people were type A (98.9%) and 10 people were type B (1.1%). Among the A viruses, 154 were A(H3) and 423 were A(H1)pdm09 (26.7% and 73.3% of the subtypes, respectively).
Pérez Martín noted that A(H1)pdm09 is pandemic H1N1: “Before the 2009 pandemic, we had an H1N1 strain, but it was completely replaced by another new pandemic strain, namely 2009 strain. They are still descendants of the H1N1 strain.” 2009 strain.
Should you always get tested to find viruses?
Pérez Martín noted, “To understand what is going on from an epidemiological perspective, for which we do have them. And then, It’s less useful if you’re not going to treat a healthy person specifically. If they’re in a high-risk group and you can give them treatment, whether it’s an antiviral drug for the flu or for COVID-19, it’s even more useful. It’s true that curiosity affects us all in a universal way, but it’s even more useful when you’re trying to use differentiated measures in therapy. To this end, the President of the Spanish Vaccinology Association pointed out, “If symptomatic treatment is ultimately adopted, the effect will be much smaller. In addition, the test itself will not tell you what type of influenza A it is, and the same will happen with the new coronavirus: If a test doesn’t tell you which variant you’re experiencing, it’s not much use unless you go for differential treatment.
Data collected by consulting firm Iqvia show that more than 1 million antigen tests were sold in Spanish pharmacies in the last week of 2023, a figure that was three times the number in the first week of December the previous year.
When must we see a doctor?
Experts remember that most respiratory infections No medical attention required After a few days, relief occurs without special treatment other than usual painkillers. What most affected people should do is rest for a few days, limit contact and/or stay home until they feel better, and only if they are in a high-risk group (such as the elderly, pregnant women, immunosuppressed patients, or those with chronic medical conditions; Alternatively, it may be recalled by the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) if the infectious disease develops unfavorably or shows signs of seriousness.
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