PRO/ESP> Seasonal respiratory viruses – Chile: early re-emergency, increase in pediatric hospitalizations


Un comunicado de ProMED-mail
ProMED-mail es un programa de la
Sociedad Internacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas

Fecha: 26 de mayo, 2023
Fuente: RPP, Perú
[Editado por Jaime Torres y Jorge González]

Chile’s health authorities have looked carefully at the rise

Sustained hospital admissions for diseases caused by

Respiratory viruses, especially respiratory syncytial virus

(RSV) and the flu (influenza), which strongly impact children.

The doctors in charge of the intensive care units of

Some regions of the country warned that the situation is critical and

That it is necessary to take measures to prevent the spread of the


The Ministry of Health (Minsal) acknowledged that the panorama

Hospital is complex and he said that the system is being prepared

In the face of a preview of the winter season of diseases, which

It was usually concentrated in the months of June and July; without

However, he has avoided taking radical measures such as those taken in the year

Past, when he decided to modify the school calendar and advance

Winter holidays for children and adolescents.

In the face of this crisis, the Government has called on citizens to

Receive the flu vaccination, which is delivered in a way

Free to the most fragile population in the face of the disease.

The end of the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a

Change in the epidemiological situation of Chile, which for more than

Two years he had his hospital system strained by infections

Due to coronavirus. Typical winter viruses such as syncytial and

Flu resurfaced after the end of the confinements, damaging

Especially to minors.

The Institute of Public Health (ISP), the body in charge of the

Supervision of health in the South American country, he explained that of

2,296 positive cases of respiratory diseases detected during

This week 46% corresponds to the RSV. The most affected age group

With this ailment is that of children from 1 to 4 years old. Further back in

Influenza A appears frequently, which covers 30% of patients

Infected. Covid-19 – which was predominant two years ago – barely

Reaches 0.8% of the samples analyzed in the last few days.

So far this season, the predominant infection is influenza.

A (26.6% of cases detected), followed by RSV (25.6%), adenovirus

(18.0%), Covid-19 (12.8%), parainfluenza (10.7%), influenza B (3.2%) and

Metapneumovirus (3.2%). In the comparison with the year 2022, the number

Of cases of this type of pathology increased by 100%, of

According to official figures reported by Minsal.

The latest health report pointed out that there are currently 1,603

People hospitalized in Chile, of which 738 tested positive

Because of a respiratory virus. The incidence of this type of

Infections grew by 52.2% during the last week.

The increase in infections has especially stressed the

Operation of intensive care units (ICU)

Pediatrics. The number of interned children grew sharply,

Since last week it reached 83% and two weeks ago it was


The high demand for health care varies according to the region

Of the country. Currently, one of the most affected areas is

Biobío, where the occupancy of beds borders on 100%. The school

Doctor of Biobío, a guild entity that brings together doctors to

Regional level, has asked the Government to take measures to stop the

Spread of viruses among minors, suggesting the advance of

The winter holidays.

The authorities have announced an investment of 37,000,000,000

Pesos (about 45,000,000 dollars) to reinforce the strategies

Of pediatric care for respiratory diseases. However,

The authorities have also focused on promoting vaccination.

The inoculation against influenza (flu) is delivered in a way

Free to a specific group of the Chilean population, which consists of

In pregnant women; people aged 65 and over; sick

Chronic between 11 and 64 years of age; children from 6 months of age

Up to those who are in the 5th year of basic or primary education

(Independent of age); workers in older adult households;

Education workers; and plant workers who breeders of

Chickens. Those who are outside this classification must buy their

Dose in a pharmacy and place it in the private health system.

At the same time, free vaccination was extended with the formula

Bivalent against COVID-19, which contemplates protection against

Original strain from Wuhan and the subvariants of Omicron. All the

Chileans over 12 years of age can access this immunization.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) does not have an approved vaccine in

Chile. For the same reason, the authorities recommend that both children

How their caregivers get vaccinated against the other diseases

Respiratory to avoid the simultaneous coexistence of viruses.

The medical guilds have asked the Government to modify the

Calendar of the Chilean school system, advancing the holidays of

Winter. The idea, according to the specialists, is that the children and

Adolescents stay in their homes and avoid contact with others

People to reduce viral circulation.

The Ministry of Education, in coordination with the Health portfolio,

Ruled out changing the established date for the recess, so the

Planning will remain unchanged. In this way, the pause

Of activities in the schools will be extended from Monday 3 to

Friday, July 14 in much of Chile, while in the

Regions of Aysén and Magallanes (in the extreme south of the country)

It will be extended from Monday, July 3 to Friday, July 21.

Comunicado por: Jaime R. Torres

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