He Dénia Health Department, complying with the regulations set by the Ministry of Health, maintains the mandatory use of masks for health professionals when caring for patients in the Oncology and ICU areas, and recommends their use in Emergency areas. Also remember that it is mandatory, within health centers, among patients who present symptoms of respiratory infection, their companions and the personnel who care for them.
The small rebound in COVID admissions recorded last July, with 14 hospitalized cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants, has stabilized. According to the Head of Preventive Medicine at the Dénia Hospital, Dr. Antonio Valdivia, “the majority of the patients were elderly, over 80 years old, and whose main cause of admission was not a respiratory infection, but rather they were diagnosed with after performing the mandatory test in the presence of compatible symptoms. In the last week, a trend of increasing COVID cases diagnosed in Primary Care has been observed, but this has not had an impact on the number of hospital admissions due to acute respiratory infection.”
“Today, an important part of the cases of acute respiratory infections that require admission, adds Dr. Valdivia, continue to be COVID, Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The latter, which is more common in pediatric patients, is also being diagnosed in older adults.”
Respiratory syncytial virus –RSV- is a common pathogen that mainly affects the respiratory system and can trigger infections, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The initial symptoms are usually similar to those of a common cold: nasal congestion, mild fever and cough. Although there is no specific vaccine for RSV, prevention focuses on hygienic measures, such as frequent hand washing and the use of a mask.
Meticulous evaluation of random samples collected in the sentinel network has been essential to differentiate between COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus infections. “Through this work, says Dr. Antonio Valdivia, crucial trends and variations in the incidence of these pathogens are identified, allowing for a more efficient health response.”
Regarding the current variant of COVID-19, derived from the Omicron variant, it has been observed to be highly contagious but does not increase the risk of complications compared to previous variants.
Joint Flu-COVID Vaccination Campaign
The 2023-2024 vaccination campaign, which is planned to include flu and COVID-19, will probably begin in October. Vaccination will be prioritized in groups such as nursing home residents, the population aged 60-65 and over, and healthcare and social healthcare personnel. New COVID vaccines tailored to current variants are expected to be available before the start of the season.
In the area of monovalent COVID-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization has recommended the administration of vaccines that specifically address the omicron variant XBB.1 and other formulations that generate an effective immune response against this subvariant.
On the other hand, the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System has already approved the flu vaccination recommendations for the 2023-2024 season. On this occasion, modifications have been made to the composition of the vaccines, in line with the evolution of circulating strains.