WHO warns of coronavirus momentum as winter looms in north

The World Health Organization warned on Wednesday (September 16) that COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is spreading at a worrying pace in some parts of the northern hemisphere, a few months away from the winter influenza season.

WHO technical lead for COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said they are seeing an increase in hospitalisations, in intensive care units in several places including Spain, France, Montenegro, Ukraine and some states of the United States. She said it was worrying “because we’re in mid-September and we haven’t started the flu season yet.”

Van Kerkhove also said hospitalisations of people aged 15-44 infected with COVID-19 were increasing in several countries. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergency expert, advised people at high risk for COVID-19 infections to get a flu vaccination.

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