Health News

tickMadrid health authorities are currently taking measures to contain a recent outbreak of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the region after one man died with the nurse treating him also contracting the disease.

It's believed that around 200 people that may have recently come into contact with the two victims are also being closely monitored to ascertain whether they have also been infected.

In another separate case a 62 year old man died on the 25th of August at Madrid's Gregorio Marañón hospital after it is believed that he was infected by a tick while walking in the countryside in the Castilla and León region.

CCHF is usually endemic to Asia, Balkans, Africa and the Middle East and it is thought to be the first case of the disease that has been contracted domestically in Spain and Western Europe.

The disease is caused by the tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family and can be fatal in up to 40% of cases with death usually occurring with the second week of infection.

surgery-688380 640If you're unfortunate enough to be awaiting an operation with the Spanish National Health Service you will know that waiting times are increasing. This has been a problem that has been compounded over the past four years or so, thanks to emergency spending cuts throughout the country. The bad news is that the situation does not seem to be improving.

Accessing the Family Doctor

In 2014, 74% of citizens in the Valencia Region were unable to get an appointment with their family doctor overnight in public health centres, and nearly 10% had to wait up to two weeks for an appointment. Appointment times do vary across Spain, with some areas such as Asturias, managing to find 62% of patients an appointment overnight. The Balearic Islands fare the worst, just 20% of residents can access an overnight appointment.

aegypti-mosquito-smallIn November 2015 a new virus caught the world's attention and many now fear a global pandemic. The relatively new mosquito-borne virus is responsible for a neurological birth disorder that has spread incredibly rapidly across South America and beyond - into 24 countries. There is wide spread concern that the virus will soon be threatening other continents too. In excess of 4200 cases of Microcephaly were found in Brazilian born babies in 2015 because their mothers were infected with the virus, this is in stark contrast to the 146 cases reported in 2014.

The situation has now been declared a public health emergency after World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan stated, "The level of alarm is extremely high."

The Zika virus, is a mosquito borne infection that is carried and transmitted by the aggressive Aedes aegypti or Yellow Fever mosquito. The WHO estimates that the number of people infected by the virus will amount to 3 to 4 million people across the Americas within twelve months. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus and no medicine to cure it.