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Covid 19: Infections on the Increase

According to media outlet Lusa,  – Portugal is experiencing a growing trend in the transmission of Covid-19, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) announced today, which recommends the reinforcement of prevention measures, such as the use of a mask in case of symptoms of respiratory infection.

In a statement, the DGS said that there is an increase in the transmission of Covid-19, with 16 cases in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants recorded on the 9th of June, showing an upward trend.

This figure surpassed last winter’s ‘peak’ of incidence of 12 cases in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, but is lower than last summer’s 42 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, says the DGS.

According to DGS data, specific mortality due to Covid-19 corresponded to nine deaths in 14 days per million inhabitants, a value lower than the maximum values recorded in the last winter and summer, respectively 10 and 13 deaths per one million inhabitants.

All values are below the ECDC threshold of 20 deaths in 14 days per million inhabitants, says the DGS.

The Directorate-General for Health also adds that the ECDC considers it unlikely that the new mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus are associated with an increase in the severity of infection or a reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine against severe disease, compared to the BA.2.86 variants previously in circulation.

However, older people, or those with underlying diseases, or previously uninfected, can develop severe symptoms, warned the DGS, considering that, despite the current epidemiological situation having a limited impact on health services and overall mortality, the growth trend recorded and the period of greater contact between people reinforces the importance of adapting protective measures against infection.

In this sense, the DGS recommends that, in case of symptoms such as cough, fever, headache and difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and avoid closed environments or crowds of people.

Among the recommendations of the DGS is also the adoption of respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing, covering the nose and mouth with a tissue or with the arm, as well as washing and/or disinfecting hands frequently, keeping spaces ventilated, and calling SNS 24, in case of persistence of symptoms.

According to the statement released today, this growth coincides with the increased prevalence of a descendant of the JN.1 sublineage of the coronavirus, KP.3, which was recently classified as a variant under monitoring by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

“There is also an increasing trend in the proportion of emergency episodes due to Covid-19 in all regions and age groups, with the growth being more evident in older age groups.”

Samantha Gannon

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