CASES of the flu in Spain have grown by 75% in the last week to 438 cases per 100,000 people, overloading hospitals across the country.

Hospitals have have seen an increase of 60% of patients in seven days, meaning that nearly 10 cases of every 100,000 cases have needed serious attention.

Authorities believe that the festive season has led to this spike, as normally no more than 300 cases from every 100,000 people have caught the virus in previous years.

Cases of all respiratory diseases went up to over 950 for every 100,000 inhabitants, a small rise from last week.

But this is because while cases of Covid and other viruses have gone down, the influenza virus continues to spread.

Castilla-La Mancha has seen the biggest rise of respiratory diseases with more than 1,700 cases recorded there.

But the regions of Valencia, Asturias and Castilla y Leon have also recorded 1501, 1,318 and 1,209 cases of respiratory diseases per 100,000 people respectively.

Health centres and hospitals in Castilla-La Mancha have experienced the biggest overloading of health centres.

Records are being broken for attendance at health centres, especially in the larger cities, with children also suffering from the malaise.

Unions and medical societies are now calling for people not to go to health centres if their symptoms are mild or they are not in the vulnerable category.

They have called for masks to be made mandatory at health centres, more sterilisation and ventilation.

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