Epidemiological Update: Circulation of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses in the Americas

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Washington, D.C., January 10, 2024 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) this week issued an epidemiological update on respiratory viruses in the Region of the Americas. The 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, 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 recommends 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 hospitalizations; and continue efforts to increase vaccination against influenza and COVID-19, particularly in vulnerable and high-risk populations.

PAHO will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates and support to countries as needed.

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