The Surveillance Network of the Canary Islands (SCS) has reported that cases of influenza have been rocketing in the Islands over the past couple of weeks with a total of 12 deaths attributed to the virus.
With around 95 new serious cases admitted to hospital over the past week, the local health authorities have been forced to declare that the flu is now approaching epidemic levels in the region.
Officials have said that "everything seems to indicate the beginning of the epidemic wave this week" with the incidence rate now standing at 78.75 cases per 100,000 inhabitants up from 34.84 cases the previous week.
6 out of 10 admitted to hospital are thought to be over the age of 64 with the majority being women. In nearly all cases the strain was said to be type A influenza. 81.1% of those admitted to hospital had risk factors and had NOT been vacinated.
The SCS felt that it was important to declare that an epidemic is imminent over the coming days, due to the high number of cases being recorded among children.