The flu is ahead and bronchiolitis soars in Tarragona

The first autumn in which Covid, to a large extent controlled, coexists with other respiratory diseases is already impacting. Cases of acute infections have skyrocketed 31% in the last week at the Camp de Tarragona, when passing from 3,423 to 4,483. It is more than there were at this point last year (4,280), at a time when the coronavirus was controlled. In Terres de l'Ebre the increase is 17% compared to the last few days, with 1,455 diagnoses in Primary, more than there were in the same week last year (1,343). The infection rate is the highest at this point in the last four yearsbasically for the coexistence between viruses.

"In the next 10 or 15 days the increase will continue, which also has a hospital impact," says Jordi Daniel, a doctor at the CAP in Salou and a member of Camfic

Let's go by parts. Flu cases in Tarragona have doubled in two weeks and five times those of a normal year around these datesincluding those of the pandemic. In 2020 and 2021 the flu remained at very low levels, practically insignificant, given the predominance of SARS-CoV-2, so the campaign that can serve as a reference is 2019-20. Compared to that exercise, the start of the epidemic peak has been brought forward by approximately a month. The Department of Health itself admits it: «The estimated incidence of flu has doubled. The increase is registered mainly in children under 14 years of age but there are increases in all ages and looks like the start of an epidemic peak that, if the trend is confirmed, it would be very early in relation to other seasons, three or four weeks before. The scientists of the BIOCOM-SC unit, of the UPC, indicate that "data from the epidemiological surveillance service show that the incidence of acute respiratory diseases is well above what is usual at the moment." The unit detects a reason: "The rise, earlier than was usual in pre-pandemic, of the pediatric RSV bronchiolitis.

"Repercussion in pediatrics"

They establish that since Covid, the rise of the so-called syncytial virus has advanced. The Department of Health confirms that bronchiolitis rate remains high and rising“exceeding the very high epidemic threshold”, with a «very marked increase especially in children under one year of agein which the incidence is already very high" and points to "a presumably significant impact on care in the field of paediatrics".

Jordi Daniel, doctor at the CAP in Salou and member of the Catalan Society of Family and Community Medicine (CAMFiC), acknowledges that "we are seeing an increase in respiratory infections in adults and children and surely in the next 10 or 15 days this increase will continue, which is also important at the hospital level.”

The system is tense in the first autumn in which the coronavirus coexists with the other infections

Daniel points out that "bronchiolitis is a viral disease and the most worrying thing is when it affects the baby. Can be a serious situation that requires treatment». The doctor points out that "in babies or infants, immediate transfer to the hospital emergency services is necessary and In some cases, an admission to intensive care is even required.

The bronchiolitis rate in children up to four years of age is 383 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the Camp, similar to last year's record (400), but much higher than a normal course (87, in 2019-20). Also bronchiolitis is advancing several weeks, judging by what was happening before Covid.

Four times more infections

In Ebre, the current rate of bronchiolitis stands at 357 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, four times more than the data from 2019-20 (78). «All respiratory infections are risingthe sudden arrival of the cold is noticeable. There is more work but the situation is not saturationWe believe that it has to get even more complicated”, indicates Dolores Faiges, from the primary commission of the Official College of Nurses of Tarragona (Codita).

“They believe all respiratory infections. The arrival of the cold is noticeable", indicates Dolors Faiges, member of the College of Nurses of Tarragona

At the hospital level there is an increase, but at least in Tarragona there is no collapse. "We are responding to the demand that is taking place», they indicate from the Joan XXIII.

Several factors can influence this situation. "We are in a moment of absolutely normalized community life and that means that we will have the epidemic peaks that existed before, ”says Daniel. The mitigation of the pandemic also allows other viruses to circulate normally and especially affect, for the first time in years, the child population. 85% of the diagnoses of bronchiolitis in the province in the last week are in children between 0 and 4 years of age.


The BIOCOM-SC adds that "the perspective is that VRS still has an upward trend, and other viruses are also generating significant rises in flu and bronchitis among children. These researchers recommend "ventilating, avoid closed places with agglomerationsclean hands, pacifiers and toys" and stress that "everything possible must be done to contain the spread of respiratory viruses among the smallest so that the peak of infections between them arrives as soon as possible.

85% of the diagnoses of bronchiolitis in Tarragona in the last week are from children up to four years of age

To the equation we must add the Covid. In Tarragona there are half as many cases a week as a year ago, although tests are only carried out on those over 60, so there may be a underdiagnosis. Income has gone from 27 to 50 in the province in those seven days. There is no one in the ICU from Tarragona and only 24 people in all of Catalonia, a very stable figure in recent weeks.

As on other occasions, the experts ask Protect the most vulnerable. “Most of the cases we see are mild. The mask continues to be very important in patients with previous lung diseases, in immunosuppressed people or in the elderly," says Jordi Daniel.

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