Flu cases and Covid-19 hospital admissions increase in Catalonia

Influenza infections have surpassed last year's peak, and coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise

A pregnant woman receives the flu vaccine at the Ramon Turró Primary Care Center
A pregnant woman receives the flu vaccine at the Ramon Turró Primary Care Center / Francesc Voltas
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 2, 2024 05:36 PM

January 2, 2024 05:36 PM

Influenza infections continue to rise in Catalonia. For several days now, the incidence of the disease has been the highest in recent seasons since the beginning of Covid-19.   

The current peak is 153 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, although it is still lower than in the pre-pandemic years, when the rate was around 350-400 cases.  

In the last week of 2023, 12,087 cases of influenza were diagnosed in primary care, compared to 10,186 the previous week. Last year, the peak of influenza in Catalonia was 10,526 cases.

The high incidence of influenza in children under 4 years of age indicates that it is likely to continue to increase. 

Covid-19 hospital admissions increase

Detected cases of Covid-19 in primary care have decreased from 6,260 in the penultimate week of the year to 4,873 in the last week. The current rate is 62 cases per 100,000 people.   

However, the number of people admitted to hospital wards with coronavirus - including those admitted for other reasons and later diagnosed with Covid-19 - has increased to 727, compared with 544 the previous week.   

In the intensive care units (ICUs), there are currently 24 people admitted for Covid-19, compared with 13 the previous week. 

How to prevent infections  

The Health Ministry recommends a few tips to help prevent respiratory infections during these weeks of increased virus circulation.   

These include frequent and proper hand washing, covering the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing, ventilating indoor spaces, using an approved mask if symptoms occur, limiting contacts, or staying home if unwell.   

For the elderly or those with chronic medical conditions, or if illness worsens, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional.   

In addition, vaccination against influenza and Covid-19 is recommended for individuals in frail health or other indicated groups.