“Atypical” flu wave hits the Basque CountryPS


The flu this year is disconcerting, for its totally atypical behaviorand follow whipping Euskadand in the middle of spring. In the absence of the most recent data that will be communicated today, Pello Latasa, responsible for Epidemiology at the Health Departmentadmit that the flu “is in a phase of fairly high incidence with a high level of circulation”. The most recent numbers speak of an incidence of 35%, although 10% is already an important number for the flu. In the first week of March, the incidence of flu in the Basque Country rose to 42.76 cases per 100,000 inhabitantss, firing in the three territories. “We have to drop a lot to reach levels outside the epidemic peak”, says Latasa.

“We monitored the flu situation week by week, and we saw that in week 10 there was a resumption of cases”, explains the Basque head of Health. The flu It is especially affecting younger children.s, in terms of incidence and volume of infections “because it is a virus that is transmitted very easily at certain ages, which is why there are also more visits to the pediatrician”.

But It also affects the elderly, with fewer cases, but with greater severity.. “Because those with comorbidities may have a more complex evolution. That’s why vaccination campaigns often start with risk groups and people using homes “affirm.

One before and one after

Latasa highlights especially the anomalous this season. “We lost the predictability that the flu had before the pandemic. In fact, we can say that we are facing a very unusual season. We spent two years almost without circulation. Neither in 2020 nor in 2021 was the flu, and in 2022 it has been circulating all year round with low intensity”. The epidemiologist points out that it started to rise very early. “In August we already saw that the incidence was increasing, which is very rare”. “It is true that the increase was not very large because when the flu starts to increase, it suddenly reaches a very sharp increase. And this year it is increasing little by little, it is decreasing, it is rising, but before we didn’t see this behavior of the virus, ”he explains.

The circulating subtypes, however, have not undergone a significant change. “What we have observed is that, at the end of October, when the flu started to increase, it was due to A(H3) and in week 10, in this new wave, A(H1) and B are abundant. In fact, flu seasons usually start with A and end with B. Every few years, B predominates more, although it is not usual ”, specifies Latasa.

The little ones in the house are being the most affected since The flu virus infects minors more often because many they didn’t have time to pass it nor are they vaccinated, a situation that facilitates propagation. It is also broadcast with quickly when coughing and sneezing, so they are contagious very easily. For this reason, the Acute Respiratory Infections Surveillance System verified a increased pressure on Primary Carethe area of ​​care in which most cases affect.

In this sense, and to alleviate this type of respiratory infection, The Basque Department of Health has decided to include the flu serum in the vaccination schedule for children. This vaccine, which was already administered to children at risk, will be expanded from now on.aa all boys and girls between six months and five years.