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WHO expert warns high rates of viruses circulating now

WHO’s Covid-19 technical head warned that a range of viruses and pathogens are circulating at a very high rate at present. Expert Maria Van Kerkhove on Twitter wrote, “Covid-19, flu, RSV and other pathogens are circulating at very high rates now”. The WHO expert advised people to remain cautious and emphasized getting Covid vaccine. “Use all available tools to keep you & your loved ones safe: vaccinate, mask, distance, ventilate, self-test, stay home if unwell, clean hands… know your risk, lower your risk,” Kerkhove wrote.

Last week in a media conference, the epidemiologists spoke about the escalation of coronavirus and other viruses during winter.

“This virus is circulating rampantly around the world, and we need to be able to absorb Covid circulation, Covid cases in the context of everything else that is circulating including flu, RSV, and other pathogens that are out there”.

On the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the WHO expert said that “There are more than 500 subvariants of omicron that are in circulation right now. We need to track how these variants behave in terms of transmission, immune escape, severity”.

According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) cases related to respiratory infections have spurred in the US recently.

Citing CDC, the cumulative flu hospitalisation rate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s surveillance network is the highest it has been for this time of year in more than a decade.

As per the CDC data, at least 13 million cases, some 120,000 hospitalizations, and 7,300 flu deaths, including 21 deaths among children, have occurred this season. Hospitalisation rates are highest among those aged 65 and above, followed by children under the age of 5, CDC data show.

Health officials in places including New York, California, Maine, and Louisiana have encouraged people to get their shots for flu and Covid-19 ahead of the winter holidays, among other precautions like staying home when sick and wearing a mask in public, indoor spaces. LiveMint

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