February 24, 2024

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About 10,000 coronavirus deaths were reported to the World Health Organization in December

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said nearly 10,000 coronavirus deaths were reported in December, and admissions to hospitals and intensive care units rose — with data suggesting holiday gatherings fueled increased transmission of the virus. .

Tedros: “Although COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, the virus continues to spread, mutate and kill.” He said During a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

There was a 42 percent increase in hospital admissions and a 62 percent increase in intensive care unit admissions compared to the previous month. Tedros said the trends were based on data reported to the WHO from fewer than 50 countries, mostly in Europe and the Americas, and noted that this was not the full picture.

“There are certainly also increases in other countries that have not been reported,” he said. The World Health Organization said in an email on Thursday that Russia appears to be reporting most cases to the health body, but stressed that “many countries have reduced or stopped reporting, which is part of the problem.”

Tedros said the JN.1 variant is now the most common globally. The new dominant strain appears to be more adept than previous strains at infecting those who have been vaccinated or previously infected, The Washington Post reported.

“Although 10,000 deaths per month is well below the peak of the pandemic, this level of preventable deaths is unacceptable,” Tedros said, urging governments to continue close monitoring and provide people with vaccines and treatments.

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Other respiratory infections around the world are also on the rise, trends she expects to continue into January, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, said at the same conference.

“This year, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, we are seeing close circulation of many different types of pathogens,” she said, pointing to influenza, rhinoviruses and bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumonia. As the world opens up again during the coronavirus pandemic, “these viruses, these bacteria, that are transmitted effectively between people through the air, benefit,” Van Kerkhove said.

In the United States, the new dominant strain of coronavirus, called JN.1, is associated with an uptick in hospitalizations and deaths. (Video: Joshua Carroll, Vineet Nirabil/The Washington Post)

The World Health Organization urges people to take necessary precautions, including testing, vaccination, wearing masks and ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated. “Vaccines may not prevent you from getting infected, but vaccines certainly greatly reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying,” Michael Ryan, head of the WHO's emergencies department, said on Wednesday.

Hospitalization And the Corona virus Wastewater levels Coronavirus infection rates are rising across the United States, which is in the midst of another spike in coronavirus infection rates as people resume work and school after the holidays. The CDC recommends getting an updated coronavirus vaccine to increase protection against JN.1.

Masks this week in Spain It became mandatory In hospitals and health facilities as the country sees a spike in cases of influenza, coronavirus and other respiratory diseases.

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Vineet Nirabil, Lina H. Sun and Amar Nazir contributed to this report.