Portugal with a flu epidemic

Respiratory infections are on the rise after two years when covid-19 was the main concern and the circulation of other viruses ended up being more limited with the measures in place. With covid-19 infections showing signs of stabilizing, although the positivity rate, you know the SUNremains high (indicating that there will be cases to detect), there is an increase in influenza activity.

According to the weekly report published this week by the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA), it is confirmed that the country is experiencing a generalized flu epidemic, the scenario that last week was already admitted to the Sunrise by Ana Paula Rodrigues, head of respiratory virus surveillance at INSA.

Last week, 447 positive cases for the flu virus were laboratory confirmed in hospitals, with type A, usually associated with stronger flu, dominating. But these more severe cases are only part of what flu-like activity usually is. INSA estimates an incidence rate of influenza-like illness at 43.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the week of March 7 to 13, which will represent approximately 4,350 cases of influenza in the country and remains a low incidence situation. In seasonal flu epidemics, the weekly incidence reaches 90 to 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in moderate epidemics and 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in high activity epidemics, which does not happen every year.

According to INSA, all-cause mortality last week was within the expected range for this time of year. But daily deaths were higher than last year after peaking in January and February. Lifting restrictions, lower temperatures and less exposure to the flu virus are some of the reasons given for the return of a flu epidemic with spring on the doorstep, a trend seen in the rest of Europe, where there has also been a resurgence of Covid-19.

According to the INSA report, in recent weeks there have been 8 cases of influenza patients requiring intensive care – in normal influenza season, the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care for influenza is around 150 to 200. D On the other hand, the DGS report on covid-19, which is now weekly, revealed that hospitalizations of patients infected with SARS-COV-2 have dropped, with 66 patients in intensive care. Mortality linked to covid-19 too, with 123 deaths last week, 39 less than the previous week, now close to the level set by the government for the lifting of the measures still in force – which will imply that there will be less more of 200 deaths from covid-19.19 over a 14-day period. The greatest pressure is felt in hospital emergency rooms, in recent days with more than 20,000 daily visits, the time of greatest demand since March 2020, reveals the monitoring consulted by the SUN. Participation is now at the level of pre-Covid-19 winters. The dust in the air has led to new health alerts this week. O SUN looked for an attendance report in the SNS24 but did not get an answer.

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