HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 30 (ACN) As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Americas, many are at risk of developing post-COVID condition, as estimates suggest that 10-20% of those who have been infected may go on to experience symptoms such as persistent and severe fatigue,
shortness of breath and mental health issues, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned at a press conference in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne called for countries to prepare their health systems to address the long-term impact of post-COVID condition, which could become rampant in the region, with new infections increasing by 13.9% from last week.
“The pandemic has surprised us time and time again, and many of its effects will linger for years to come," she said, noting that those with pre-existing conditions are particularly at risk, as are smokers and those who have not been vaccinated.
Studies show that those who contract COVID-19 after vaccination have milder symptoms and are less likely to develop post-COVID condition.
Referring to the COVID-19 situation in the Americas, cases continue to increase in all four sub-regions, with countries reporting over 1.3 million new infections and 4,158 deaths. In the United States and Mexico, cases have increased, while falling in Canada.
In the Caribbean, cases have begun to plateau over the past two weeks, with countries reporting a 3.2% increase over the past week, the doctor remarked.