The influenza epidemic could have reached its peak of activity in Primary Care in the last week of 2023, while hospitalization due to influenza continues to rise, according to the latest weekly SiVIRA report published by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Thus, during the first week of 2024 there has been a decrease in the primary care rate for influenza: 387 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 430 cases the previous week. This is the first decrease in incidence in four weeks.
Since mid-October, northern China has reported an increase in influenza-like illness compared to the same period in the previous three years. On 21 November, the media and the ProMED system reported outbreaks of pneumonia of undiagnosed cause in children in northern China. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is unclear whether these are related to the overall increase in respiratory infections previously reported by the Chinese authorities or are separate episodes. In a statement, the WHO has officially requested detailed information from China on this increase in respiratory illnesses and outbreaks of childhood pneumonia.
A study has analysed the association between ambient temperature and hospital mortality from respiratory diseases in the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona between 2006 and 2019. Their results indicate that high summer temperatures were responsible for 16% and 22.1% of all fatal hospitalisations for respiratory diseases in Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. According to the team, led by ISGlobal, "unless effective adaptation measures are taken in hospitals, global warming could exacerbate mortality in patients admitted for respiratory diseases during the summer period". The research is published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health - Europe.
Some people may experience long-term symptoms - or 'lingering colds' - after suffering acute respiratory infections that tested negative for covid-19, research concludes. The study, published in the journal EClinicalMedicine, highlights the most common symptoms of these conditions, such as cough, stomach pain and diarrhoea more than four weeks after the initial infection.