The other Christmas ‘gift’ that you don’t really want


FLU is often the other ‘gift’ that Christmas brings, affecting between 10-15 per cent of the population each year, peaking over the Christmas and New Year period.
Dr. Jose Luis Cañada, coordinator of the working group of infectious diseases of the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians said it can be difficult to avoid: “without flying on a plane on December 1 to Buenos Aires for three months!” Joking aside, he adds: “Influenza is a disease of children and adolescents, but the elderly are those that pay the price.”
Around 1,500-3,000 people die each year in Spain from flu and most are the elderly or those considered in high risk groups.
Dr. Cañada is an advocate of the flu jab to help protect people from the virus and its spread amongst the population.
In Spain, rates of vaccination against influenza are around 60 per cent, below the recommended target of 70 per cent of the World Health Organisation (WHO).


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