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WHO: Europe Is Facing Multiple Health Crises This Summer

  • People tested for COVID-19 in Europe. Jun. 28, 2023.

    People tested for COVID-19 in Europe. Jun. 28, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@Mia270930956

Published 28 June 2023

"...nearly 1,000 new COVID-19-related deaths are still being reported in the region each week..."

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe warned that Europe is facing a multitude of health crises this summer, with long COVID, escalating temperatures, and a re-emergence of MPOX infections taking center stage.

76th World Health Assembly Kicks Off

"Nearly 36 million people across the WHO European Region may have experienced Long COVID in the first three years of the pandemic," said Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe. "This number equals approximately 1 in 30 Europeans."

According to WHO, nearly 1,000 new COVID-19-related deaths are still being reported in the region each week.

"Unless we develop comprehensive diagnostics and treatment for Long COVID, we will never truly recover from the pandemic," Kluge said.

According to Kluge, vaccination remains key in the fight against the disease. "The best way to avoid Long COVID is to avoid COVID-19 in the first place," he said.

WHO has also stated that vulnerable populations should be prioritized for vaccination, including the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions, and the immuno-compromised.

Kluge also noted the resurgence of MPOX infections across various countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands; according to him, vaccination and precautionary measures are critical in order to mitigate this situation.

"Get vaccinated against MPOX if vaccines are available and you are eligible. If you have symptoms, limit contact with others," Kluge said.

"All three of these health emergencies-COVID-19, MPOX, and extreme heat-call for a change in our collective approaches, in our allocation of resources, and also in our individual behaviors," Kluge sated.

Official data show that alongside the lingering COVID-19 crisis, Europe is also grappling with the issue of extreme heat. A recent official report from the European Union and the World Meteorological Organization stated that Europe is warming at twice the average global rate.

Official reports state that the extreme heat claimed 20,000 lives from June to August last year, and temperatures in Spain and Portugal have already exceeded 40 degrees this year.

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