Europe On High Alert As Respiratory Viruses Surge

European Bracing Itself For Challenging Winter

Patient and doctor wearing facemasks. Credit: Yuganov Konstantin/

Is Europe prepared for a sudden spike in respiratory viruses? This warning comes amidst worrying signs of cases spreading through communities, indicating a challenging winter ahead.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has sounded the alarm, urging European Union (EU) member states to brace themselves for a potential surge in respiratory virus cases, writes OK Diario.

Recently, the ECDC highlighted the contrasting situation across Europe. While the Carlos III Health Institute reported lower incidence rates of mild and severe acute respiratory infections compared to the previous season, the ECDC Director Andrea Ammon noted, ‘In recent weeks, we have seen signs that community transmission of respiratory viruses has increased, which is typical of the winter season.’

The predominant virus currently is SARS-CoV-2, alongside the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), seasonal flu, and other viruses showing a rising trend. Notably, severe illness related to SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects those over 65 years of age, with increased RSV activity leading to a spike in hospital admissions, especially in young children.

Preventive Measures And Health System Preparedness

The ECDC’s response plan includes enhancing vaccination campaigns and preparing health systems to potentially expand emergency and ICU capacities.

In addition, the use of masks in crowded public spaces is advised, especially for individuals at high risk of serious illness. The ECDC also recommends using its ‘5 Cs’ diagnostic model for vaccination – Trust, Complacency, Constraints, Collective Responsibility, and Calculation – to effectively promote vaccine acceptance.

Protecting The Vulnerable And Healthcare Workers

Prioritizing vaccinations for the most vulnerable against SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and RSV is crucial to prevent serious illness progression.

The ECDC also emphasises increasing emergency and ICU capacities in both paediatric and adult hospitals, based on staff and bed requirements.

Furthermore, healthcare workers must be adequately trained in infection prevention and control measures to reduce the burden on healthcare facilities and prevent outbreaks, including in long-term care facilities. Rapid testing, early use of antiviral treatments for Covid-19 and influenza, and RSV prophylaxis in infants are also recommended.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Johnno

      18 December 2023 • 17:29

      Yet more scaremongering in order for people to take the death jab !

      How come politicians and their ilk were all exempt from taking it ??

      • Robert Marshall

        18 December 2023 • 19:28

        Correct they were all in on the hoax

    • Malcolm

      19 December 2023 • 21:53

      Speaking as someone fast approaching 80, I’ve had all 5 jabs so far with no I’ll effects. Probably saved my life?

    Comments are closed.