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Pan American Health Organization: hospitalizations and deaths of young people soar due to COVID-19

Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021. 6:32 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and health experts around the world continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

In the last week alone, almost 40% of all global COVID-19 deaths were in the Americas, PAHO reports.

“Adults of all ages – including young people – are becoming seriously ill. Many of them are dying,” Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO director said during her weekly media briefing.

In addition, hospitalization rates of people under 39 rose by more than 70 percent in Chile during the past few months.

 And in Brazil, hospitalizations have been highest among people in their 40s.

“In some areas of the U.S., more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for COVID-19 than people in their 70s,” Dr. Etienne said.

 Dr. Etienne noted that hospitals were previously filled with elderly COVID-19 patients but now the intensive care units have also admitted younger patients.

PAHO urged countries to prepare for surging hospital demand.

Countries are also urged to train more health workers and to continue to adhere to precautionary measures.

“While vaccines are being rolled out as fast as possible, they are not a short-term solution – we can’t rely on vaccines to bring down infections when there are not enough vaccines to go around. They are one part of the comprehensive response that includes prevention through public health measures and improving the readiness of health systems,” Dr. Etienne said.

More Latin American countries than ever before are reporting more than 1,000 COVID cases a day, PAHO noted.

In total, more than 1.3 million people were infected with COVID-19 in the Americas in the last week and more than 36,000 died from COVID-related complications.

 

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