Epidemiological Alert - Anticipation of the onset of respiratory virus season - 22 September 2023

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Several countries from the southern hemisphere have been reporting an early start of the increase of acute respiratory infection during the recent 2023 season of circulation of respiratory viruses, suggesting a shift of seasonal pattern observed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given this situation, the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) recommends that Member States of the northern hemisphere adjust prevention and control plans for respiratory virus epidemics to face an early onset of increased respiratory activity and a possible overload of health services. Measures for the prevention and control of respiratory virus infections should include early diagnosis and adequate clinical management, mainly among populations at high risk of presenting with severe  disease, and ensuring respiratory virus vaccination, high vaccination coverage in high-risk groups, the adequate provision and organization of health services, strict compliance with infection prevention control measures, an adequate supply of antivirals, and well as effective risk communication for the public  and healthcare professionals.