Epidemiological Update: SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses in the Americas Region - 8 January 2024
Since the introduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to the Americas Region in 2020, along with the circulation of respiratory viruses previously reported in the Region such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, high levels of acute respiratory disease activity (influenza-like Illness- ILI and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection - SARI) have been reported throughout 2023, and especially in recent weeks. Currently, countries in the northern hemisphere are experiencing epidemic activity of acute respiratory disease associated with the circulation of these three viruses. Simultaneously, some countries in the southern hemisphere are reporting higher incidences of respiratory disease than expected for this season (based on data prior to 2020), due to the circulation of SARS-CoV-2. For this reason, the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) recommends that Member States maintain and strengthen respiratory virus surveillance to detect increases in the activity of acute respiratory disease. Likewise, it is recommended to keep healthcare systems prepared and alert at all levels in order to respond to a possible increase in outpatient cases and hospitalizations, especially coinciding with the epidemic period for other communicable diseases with high demand for care.