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Respiratory “Triple Threat” Impacts Pan American Region

November 19, 2022 • 5:52 am CST
by Michal Jarmoluk
(Vax Before Travel)

With an increase in seasonal influenza and a spike in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Carissa F. Etienne, called on countries to implement the tools proven to keep communities safe, including vaccines, surveillance, mask-wearing, and social distancing.

“The rise of a single respiratory infection is a cause for concern. However, when two or three start impacting a population concurrently, this should put us all on alert,” she said during a media briefing on November 16, 2022.

“The situation can change quickly,” she warned.

Meanwhile, cases of influenza in North America are rising, and an out-of-season increase in patients in the Southern Cone is also being seen, particularly in Argentina and Uruguay, which is putting unexpected stress on health systems.

RSV infections have also increased significantly, burdening health systems in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, and the U.S. and having a particular impact on children and infants under one.

Dr. Etienne highlighted that the strategies used to limit the spread of COVID-19, including mask-wearing and social distancing, also apply to other respiratory diseases, including RSV, for which there is currently no vaccine.

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