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Montevideo, June 21st 2024 - 10:04 UTC



Uruguay: Respiratory diseases on the rise amid low vaccination coverage

Friday, May 24th 2024 - 10:45 UTC
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The increase in the number of cases does not entail an increase in severity, it was explained The increase in the number of cases does not entail an increase in severity, it was explained

Uruguayan physicians reported this week that respiratory infections and emergency room visits for this type of illness are on the rise. In addition, the Health Ministry has expressed concern about the low number of pregnant women who have received the flu vaccine this season.

Enrique Buccino, technical director of the SEMM (Sistema de Emergencia Médico Móvil) private health service, said that around 10,000 consultations had been made so far this week, leading to an increase in video consultations to meet demand. Buccino also explained that there have been some unusual delays given the “rapidity of the onset of the disease”. However, he ruled out any serious cases of respiratory infections: “These are mild respiratory diseases and do not determine an increase in severity.”

Less than 10% of pregnant women have taken a flu vaccine, the Health Ministry stressed in a report. The document also showed that vaccination rates among children and healthcare workers have hit new lows.

The most vaccinated age group was 18 to 49, with more than 65,000 shots, followed by 50 to 64, with more than 52,000.

However, only about 2,000 pregnant women (9.6%) chose to be vaccinated. Immunization was also low among people over 65 (less than 20% were injected), children, and healthcare workers.

Infectiologist Henry Albornoz warned that “pregnant and postpartum women are groups in which vaccination is very important” because influenza can seriously affect both the mother and the fetus. Antibodies transferred from the mother guarantee a certain level of protection for the child, he explained. “We are on time because we are just at the beginning of the circulation of the influenza virus,” he added.

Categories: Health & Science, Uruguay.

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