Major outbreak among Málaga hospital healthcare staff

by Lorraine Williamson
outbreak Málaga hospital -

MáLAGA – A major coronavirus outbreak has been identified in Málaga among staff from the Carlos Haya regional hospital. The outbreak is growing and is believed to have started during a Christmas dinner. 

According to the regional authorities, the infected people belong to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This mainly concerns nursing staff. 

The outbreak has already affected 68 health workers at the hospital. Furthermore, the Junta de Andalucía is still investigating the origin. However, everything indicates the celebration of a Christmas meal last Wednesday, and one a few days before are the culprits. 

Mild symptoms 

The Christmas lunch on December 1 was attended by 173 people and was organised by UCI professionals. All the invitees underwent an antigen test beforehand and had already received the third dose of the vaccine. According to sources at the region’s health authorities, all infected individuals who are not asymptomatic have only mild symptoms.

As a result of this outbreak, the Malaga health delegation is recommending hospitals not to hold Christmas lunches and dinners in order to avoid new cases at a time of increasing infections and hospitalisations. 

The outbreak has forced operations in the ICU of the regional hospital Carlos Haya to a low level. However, according to the centre, there was no need to mobilise staff from other departments to replace the infected and quarantined staff. 

No serious cases so far 

In addition to the 68 people who tested positive, there are dozens more people and their close contacts who are waiting for their PCR tests. Most cases of the coronavirus have been identified among the nursing staff, although there are also affected doctors. However, the sources report there have been ‘no serious cases’ so far. 

According to health authorities, there is a possibility that some antigen tests were false negatives. There may also be another point of contamination: After the administration of a state exam among hospital employees, many of them would have eaten together. 

Christmas gatherings 

The Andalucian government’s health delegation has contacted all public and private hospitals in Málaga and has advised against having Christmas dinners. In fact, most are announcing the cancellation of Christmas lunches or dinners, as was also decided yesterday by the Public Emergency Company EPES, which operates the 061 telephone service for ambulances. “Unfortunately, we have no choice but to take care of ourselves in order to continue to provide care for others,” it said in a message to the employees. 

Increasing trend incidence in Málaga 

The incidence of the coronavirus maintains the rising trend in the province of Málaga. The Andalucian government reported 442 new positive cases on Friday, a figure not reached since late last summer. However, hospital pressure is low: 90 people with covid are in hospitals across the province. Of these, 24 people are in the ICU. 

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