Posted: Saturday January 16, 2021 5:32 PM
This year we barely heard of the flu. At least that’s how the Spanish population saw it: “I haven’t had any symptoms and I don’t know anyone who has.” Like that statement, a team from LaSexta found as many similar ones when interviewing those walking the streets on Saturday. The flu went unnoticed. Even drugstore influenza sales have plummeted.
“Nothing was sold, a daily container at most”, explains Pili Louzán, pharmacist at Plaza de España. Because there is no sign of the flu virus. In Pontevedra, there was not a single entry this winter. “I haven’t had any actual flu patients this year yet,” said Iago López, family doctor at the Pontevedra Medical Center.
In the last season, there were almost 620,000 cases of influenza in our country, 27,700 hospitalized, 1,800 intensive care and 3,900 deaths. This winter, however, so far this season, only five cases of the virus have been confirmed. “In the recent historical series, this is the first time that we have encountered this level of activity,” said Iago López.
Hand hygiene, mask use, and social distancing were found to be a secondary benefit. “This prevents us not only from the contagion of the coronavirus virus, but also from influenza, cold viruses and respiratory syncytial virus in infants,” said Miguel Álvarez, head of the epidemiological alerts service of Galicia. So, if there were to be a flu wave, it should already start to be detected.
However, there could be some surprises. “We must be vigilant because this cold wave which is ravaging Spain could reveal a case”, underlined Miguel Álvarez. Iago López said in the same vein: “I would wait a few more weeks to be able to say triumphantly that this year we are done with.” Fear of the pandemic has increased the demand for influenza vaccines. Five million more people have been vaccinated than last year.