A total of 81 people died in Andalucía from complications arising from flu last winter. The regional government's Health and Families department says 429 people were hospitalised with flu and the victims died from complications. This is a fatality rate of 18.9 per cent.
Over 65s at risk
Flu complications cause hundreds of people to be admitted to hospital every year, especially the over-65s and those with chronic illnesses, whose health is at risk from flu viruses. About 40 per cent of those who are hospitalised end up in the intensive care unit.
The best way to combat flu viruses and their consequences is through vaccination, which is especially recommended for people aged over 65, chronic patients, pregnant women, medical staff and police, among other groups at risk.
Doctors say these people should have a flu jab every year, because it is the best way of preventing the illness and the serious complications which can lead to death.
However, only 18 per cent of patients who are admitted to hospital in Andalucía are vaccinated, even though more than 90 per cent of them are at risk.
Figures issued on 23 February show that 1,197,365 people had been vaccinated in Andalucía, and of them 731,261 were aged 65 or over. Also, 144,439 doses were administrated than in the previous winter season, which was an increase of 13.7 per cent.
So far this year, 52.81 per cent of 65-year-olds had been given the flu jab, which was also more than in the previous year, when it was 49 per cent.
By province in Andalucía, the figures are: Jaén (63.2 per cent), Granada (58.1 per cent), Cordoba (58 per cent), Almeria (53.7 per cent), Malaga (51.1 per cent), Seville (50.5 per cent), Huelva (50.4 per cent) and Cadiz (44.5 per cent).
The normal designated flu season in this part of the world is January and February, although at times it can continue into March.