PAHO warns of circulation of SARS-CoV-2, other respiratory viruses in Caribbean
WASHINGTON (CMC) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned about the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses in the Region of the Americas, including the Caribbean.
PAHO said its epidemiological update provides “recommendations for maintaining surveillance of these viruses and strengthening health systems response, particularly given the current outbreaks of other communicable diseases.”
In 2023, the health body said elevated levels of acute respiratory disease were recorded in the region, “driven by the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus.”
Currently, the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing epidemics of all three viruses expected in the winter, while some countries in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing incidences higher than expected for the season, due to the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, PAHO said.
It recommended that member states maintain surveillance of respiratory viruses “to detect any changes in circulation or severity of disease; be prepared to respond to a possible increase in cases and hospitalisations; and continue efforts to increase vaccination against influenza and COVID-19, particularly in vulnerable and high-risk populations.”
PAHO also urged regional countries to “keep healthcare systems prepared and alert at all levels in order to respond to a possible increase in outpatient cases and hospitalisations, especially coinciding with the epidemic period for other communicable diseases with high demand for care.”