After the wave of bronchiolitis in children under one year of age, which for weeks had the hospitals in check, the ucis and pediatric emergencies, catalan hospitals are now experiencing a very intense care pressure in their adult emergencies for other respiratory infections in adults, mainly influenza. Salut estimates that the peak of influenza will arrive around Christmas and then, once it subsides, will come the covid-19 peak. But doctors fear that both peaks coinciding at the same time, especially once this December long weekend is over.
“We live practically in a semi-collapse. If the number of flu cases continues to rise and that coexists with the rise in covud-19, obviously this will not be enough. The spaces and resources are what they are,” he says. Miquel Sánchez, director of the Emergency Department of the Hospital Clínic (Barcelona). “I am afraid that the peak of covid, which is expected after Christmas, coincides with that of the flu. There is a bridge where it occurs a lot of social interaction and always after this bridge there has been an increase in covid,” he says, referring to what happened in previous years.
Sanchez asks the user to “try” to make “home containment”: to go to the family doctor or call 061. before going to the emergency room. “We are frankly full and we know that it is general,” he says. The same is said by the Hospital del Mar (Barcelona). “Our emergency rooms are with a lot of care pressure, especially with respiratory infections. We’re not much different than any year with the flu peak. But this year Has come much earlier and very strong.” explains Robert Güerri, section chief of Infectious Diseases of the Sea.
Güerri assures that the situation “is not easy.” In fact, the hospital is already trying to create “new hospitalization spaces”. to “decongest”, which is what healthcare centers do “every year” with flu peaks.
Influenza: the virus most on the rise
The flu is right now the most circulating respiratory virus in Catalonia. It is present in the 24.3% of the samples, followed by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV, 16.1%), the rhinovirus, which causes the common cold and which topped the list last week (15.4%) and the SARS-Cov-2 (13,3%). “We have noticed quite a noticeable increase in influenza. In the last week. Covid is more punctual, but we are also seeing it,” says Sánchez from the Clínic.
In addition, he warns that many patients with influenza, especially the fragile and those with multiple pathologies, end up being admitted. Right now, he says, a “usual” number of people are being admitted at these times. “What is not normal is that the flu has come earlier than other years. It was normal for the peak to arrive in the second or third week of January,” he notes.
Since the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona) warn that “all respiratory viruses” are on the rise. “In the last two years there have been protection barriers, such as the mask. And leaving them on shows,” says the infectologist. Pere Domingo. He assures that, for the time being, is “all under control”, but warns that this week “everything is running at a very low level” because of the bridge.
The Vall d’Hebron Hospital (Barcelona) ensures that it is receiving “a lot of influx” of patients due to the flu, but everything is “working properly”. The center has enabled the Garbí Building to receive patients with influenza.