By David Jackson
Doctors fear there could be a flu epidemic on the way in Almería after it emerged that the infection rate across the province is double the Andalusian average.
Across Andalucía an influenza infection rate of 14 per 100,000 people is being recorded – in the first week of this year, the infection rate in the province was more than double that, at 37 cases per 100,000 people.
If the rate reaches 45 cases per 100,000 people then an epidemic is declared by the Andalusian health service, as this is the critical mass at which infection starts to spread proportionally if not controlled.
The provincial infection rate has gone up by 55 per cent over the last three weeks, according to health statistics, as the influenza virus spreads.
It comes together with a late outbreak of bronchiolitis which has affected hundreds of babies under the age of two. This virus affects very small children during cold weather. It was last week’s principle cause of hospitalisation amongst small children, with 195 babies being admitted to Almería’s Torrecárdenas hospital in just one day.