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COVID-19 cases in Americas on rise along with other respiratory diseases – PAHO



A medical team member takes a swab sample from a woman to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amidst an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota, Colombia December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Americas saw an increase of 17% in COVID-19 cases, and deaths increased in South America and Central America over the past week, PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne told a press briefing on Wednesday.

“Every time we become complacent with this virus, we run the risk of a resurgence. We cannot lower our guard,” she said.

Seasonal influenza cases are also increasing, following two years of below-average activity, Etienne said.

After a couple of years of lower seasonal transmission, RSV infections have increased significantly, putting pressure on Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and U.S. health systems, PAHO said.

“Multiple respiratory infections on the rise at the same time should put us all on alert”, Etienne said.

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