The wave of bronchiolitis in children (especially in children under one year of age) has reached its peak, which was predicted for November 29, and has begun a “downward” trend In Catalonia. Hospitals such as Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona) and Sant Joan de Déu (Esplugues de Llobregat) are already noticing it, even though the drop is “slow”. and there is still “a lot of intensity” of work.
“We’ve really been going on for a couple of days now where there is already a little bit of a slowdown and the peak has started to plateau,” he assures María José Abadías, deputy director of care at Vall d’Hebron. The trend, she says, is “downward.” in general, in all the respiratory infections in children. But specifically in bronchiolitis, which in recent weeks saturated the emergency rooms and pediatric ICUs of Catalan hospitals.
The health centers, however, remain full. They have not yet begun to empty. But, as of two days ago, the balance “is positive”. “We already give higher than income in the hospital ward. And the pressure in the pediatric ICU has stabilized a little bit,” Abadías points out.
“We Are starting to come down a little bit. But we have been tightening the rope for so long, that with very little it overflows,” says the nurse at Sant Joan de Déu. Lluïsa Claramunt. The wave of bronchiolitis, she says, began to subside at “the beginning of the week.” “But we still have a lot of work, it’s still all saturated.” Claramunt adds.
Wave of more intensity
This year’s epidemic of pediatric bronchiolitis has been. much stronger than that of the precovid years. Doctors attribute this to the fact that younger children. were not immunized because in the last two years hardly any respiratory viruses other than covid circulated.
“The pending [de la bronquiolitis en niños] has been similar to that of the first covid wave. It has been straight, of a extreme verticality.” Abadías explains. In fact, if the peak before covid-19 was about 1,200 cases per day in Catalonia, this time it has “doubled”.
This led hospitals such as Vall d’Hebron to “reorganize” its “more classic” contingency plan. The center’s pediatric emergencies continue “with. very busy” because of this disease, but doctors hope that things will calm down from next week, when children will be on holiday and will not go to school, which will reduce the number of contagions.
Goodbye bronchiolitis, hello to flu
And, then, the flu in adults. “It usually starts three weeks later of pediatric bronchiolitis. Today we have formally initiated our winter plan in adults.” Abadías points out. This plan consists of a reinforcement in the emergency department (with more staff) and the opening of the first and second floors of the Garbí building, from this December 1st, for patients with non-covid respiratory infections.
At the moment neither influenza nor covid-19 in adults are having much “impact” at the cynical level. nor on the resources of Vall d’Hebron. But the forecast is that there will be “more flu” than last year, although adults have “more immunological memory” than children. “We expect a bouquet of more flu and more covid.” assesses Abadías.
The covid-19, right now, behaves in most people as. “a cold”. But vulnerable people, and especially those immunosuppressed are at risk of contracting a serious disease. “You have to take extreme precautions. Mask and hand hygiene.” concludes Abadías.