Shot in the arm: South America seeks to tame seasonal flu as COVID-19 spreads - (This is Money via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Health officials and doctors in South America are boosting up inoculation programs to head off a potential spike in seasonal influenza that could overwhelm hospitals already straining under the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported in this is Money.

  • The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned that a surge in seasonal influenza cases threatens to make a bad situation worse for overstretched healthcare systems.

  • "We know that in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the epidemiological curve is still rising sharply," the PAHO said, adding "this means that more people will be sick tomorrow than yesterday."

  • Data from Argentina shows respiratory infections caused by influenza at their lowest level in five years, but daily confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been climbing.

  • In Uruguay, the number of influenza vaccinations so far has doubled this year over 2019, while in Chile 95% of the high-risk population has been vaccinated against influenza, health ministry data shows.

  • Meanwhile, Brazil started an influenza vaccine campaign early, but was forced to extend it until the end of June after falling short of targets to inoculate priority groups.

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