covid Cataluña | Under-diagnosis of covid and another possible flu spike put Catalonia in the face of a difficult winter

The flu and the covid-19 continue to decline in Cataloniaaccording to the latest data from the Information System for the Surveillance of Infections in Catalonia (Sivic), updated this Tuesday. However, doctors do not rule out a recurrence. another flu peak with the arrival of the low temperatures (the Christmas period was atypical because of the heat) and they also believe that the coronavirus incidence is higher than what is being recorded in Spain as a whole.

“Covid-19 is being undernotified.” warns the member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE). Joan Caylà. He also warns that the fourth dose coverage is low in Spain and calls on the population to get it in order to be protected against the coronavirus peak expected in the coming weeks.

According to Salut, the primary care diagnosed 4,063 cases of influenza between January 2 and 8. The previous week, 5,797 cases of influenza were diagnosed. As for covid-19, 2,160 new cases have been diagnosed in the primary, up from 2,780 the previous week. There are 557 people admitted with coronavirus (651 the previous week) and 24 in the ICUs for covid-19 (30 the previous week). The omicron variant represents all sequenced samples with a predominance of the BQ.1 subvariant. The bronchiolitis also maintains its decline.

Influenza diagnoses are still above previous seasons, but with one important difference, which is that. this winter the infections would have already started to decline. Influenza has been brought forward this season and, pending the evolution of the epidemiological situation and the normalization of data after the Christmas holidays, the peak would have been reached in the penultimate week of the year.

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“We right now We’re doing pretty well. We have less incidence of influenza, although it is still circulating, as is covid. What we are afraid of is that now the cold has arrived. It was a rare Christmas when we didn’t have to put the heat on and now we are afraid that there will be a second flu peak.” says the primary care physician Laura Conangla, member of the Societat Catalana de Medicina Familiar i Comunitària (Camfic). Salut estimates that during the course of this month there will also be a covid peak, despite the fact that it is downhill at this time.

“Infradiagnosis”

Epidemiologist Joan Caylà believes, however, that covid is. underdiagnosed throughout Spain and that the incidence is higher than the data show. “In Europe, Spain stands out because it has a flat curve, whereas France, Italy or Germany have a very high incidence. But then the admissions and mortality due to coronavirus. In Spain there is a covid underreporting, we have this problem,” Caylà points out. Spain last year stopped counting on a case-by-case basis and only tests people at risk.

And yet, despite underreporting, in the last week, Spain declared. 16,000 new positives, all in those over 60 years of age. “Compared to the other notifiable diseases, is a huge amount,” says Caylà, who calls for close monitoring of the situation of China, with a massive wave of contagion, and its possible repercussions in developing countries with whom it has many trade relations, as well as the emergence of new variants.

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Age groups

According to Salut’s figures, the age group that records the most cases of the influenza is the from 15 to 44 years old (1,839); then the group of 45 to 59 yr.s (946). In the 5- to 14-year age group, 314 cases of influenza have been diagnosed; in those under 4 years of age, 250; and in those over 60, 714.

In the case of the bronchiolitis continues to decline after the small upturn of a few weeks ago. In the latest, the number of diagnoses is 609, down from 712 the previous week. New cases are still above the 2021-2022 season (377 cases) and the 2020-2021 season (60), but below the 2019-2020, pre-pandemic covid-19 season (1,270).

By age group, the following have been diagnosed. 399 cases of bronchiolitis in children under 1 year of age and 76 in children aged 1 to 2 years. In under 4s, the figure is 480 cases and is below the 2019-2020 season, which could be comparable to the current season, when there were 1,160 diagnoses this week. The peak of bronchiolitis was also earlier this season and has been much higher than other years.

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