COVID is still a concern despite flu, RSV decline: experts

As RSV and flu cases dwindle in Canada, the World Health Organization (WHO) will announce on Monday whether it will still consider COVID-19 a global health emergency.

Ahead of that announcement, one of Canada’s top infectious disease experts warned that the WHO consensus doesn’t necessarily mean the virus is behind us.

Dr Lisa Barrett, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as well as the Department of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, said: “I think it is important to point out that this is not… whether COVID will go away or not. at Dalhousie University.

“This is a really committee-based decision at WHO level to decide whether this is still a public health emergency of international concern,” she told CTV News Channel. Sunday.

Barrett explained that this is a matter of prioritizing access to resources and research, not determining the end point of COVID-19.

“So all of this means that COVID isn’t over yet,” she said. “And the view in different countries is different in many situations. That’s what they’re trying to decide at this point, not whether the pandemic is over or COVID will go away.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will issue a formal appeal on the status of COVID-19, based on the advice of his committee. Earlier this week, he warned that he remained concerned about the impact of the virus and mentioned that there have been 170,000 COVID-related deaths reported around the world in the past two months.

The WHO update comes at a time when concerns about the combination of respiratory illnesses are easing. Canadian data show that flu hospitalizations are now falling.

“We’re starting to see the flu, perhaps RSV, begin to subside somewhat,” Barrett said.

“There’s still a lot of debate about whether we’re going to catch a lot of unimportant cases. But really, I think big [question] since last year when we started to see the flu and RSV could go down, so what’s the best way forward?”

Barrett noted that the FDA has recommended changing the deployment of booster injections.

“They are recommending an injection once a year, similar to the flu shot. I think that’s the right approach at this point,” she said.

“I think the first thing we should remind Canadians is that if they’re going to have to get a booster shot for vulnerable populations — the elderly, people with weakened immune systems — Please don’t think it’s too early to go out and get an injection. Last dose from fall if you haven’t already.


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