WHO highlights influenza risk for kids, pregnant women during pandemic

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have highlighted the influenza risk for children and pregnant women during the Covid-19 pandemic, calling for strong surveillance and testing. Also Read – Hot or cold – weather alone has no significant effect on COVID-19 spread, says Indian-origin scientist

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a WHO press briefing on Monday that it was still unknown how the coming influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere is to unfold, reports Xinhua news agency. Also Read – COVID-19 death sees further dip as India’s tally at 82.7L

However, strong surveillance systems for influenza are already in place and are still working even during the pandemic. Also Read – COVID-19 virus may block formation of key red blood cells: Study

She recommended that people at high risk for influenza take vaccinations this year as the pandemic continues to rage.

Her view was echoed by Janet Diaz, the WHO Clinical Management Lead, who emphasized that surveillance is the key against the influenza season, and that although influenza and Covid-19 do have common symptoms, there are still some differences.

If the two groups show symptoms of acute respiratory infection, they need to be tested first before taking different treatment pathways, she added.

COVID-19 in India

India’s total cases surge to 82,67,623 with 38,310 fresh Covid-19 infections and 490 new deaths. Total active cases are 5,41,405 after a decrease of 20,503 in the last 24 hours. Total cured cases are 76,03,121 with 58,323 new discharges in the last 24 hours.

In a statement, the Union Minister of Health reported that even as active cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases are declining in the country, at least four states — Manipur, Delhi, Kerala, and West Bengal — are reporting a surge in the viral infection.

The total number of cases worldwide

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 47.3 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1,211,990, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday morning, the total caseload and death toll stood at 47,320,376 and 1,211,996, respectively, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 9,376,293 and 232,529, respectively, according to the CSSE.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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