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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 09, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 1 day, 14 hours, 24 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising In Portugal While Excess Mortality Rates In First 7 Days Of 2024 Was Highest Since 2017!

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COVID-19 News: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising In Portugal While Excess Mortality Rates In First 7 Days Of 2024 Was Highest Since 2017!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 09, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 1 day, 14 hours, 24 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: As Portugal battles a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the nation finds itself grappling not only with the impacts of the ongoing pandemic but also with the highest excess mortality rates in the first days of 2024, a level not seen since 2017.


 
COVID-19 Hospitalizations on the Rise
According to a local COVID-19 News coverage, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS)in Portugal has issued a warning as hospitalizations increase across the country. Some hospitals, especially in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, have reinforced their response to accommodate the rising influx of patients.
 
https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2024-01-08/increase-in-admissions-to-intensive-care/84912
 
Emergency services are facing constraints, leading to extended waiting times, creating a challenging environment for healthcare professionals.
https://www.dgs.pt/em-destaque/relatorio-n-56-da-resposta-sazonal-em-saude-vigilancia-e-monitorizacao.aspx
 
https://www.dgs.pt/
 
As Portugal approaches the anticipated peak of influenza, respiratory infections are adding pressure to already strained emergency services. The cold wave predicted for the coming days raises concerns about a potential surge in respiratory diseases, prompting the DGS to acknowledge that mortality rates may continue to rise until the end of the month.
 
Despite efforts to control the situation, the DGS emphasizes the rapid circulation of the virus. Vaccination against the flu, while lower than the previous season, aligns closely with the best-case scenario outlined for the autumn-winter 2023 campaign. With approximately 2.5 million people vaccinated, health authorities stress that vaccination against both flu and COVID-19 remains crucial for protecting the population.
 
The DGS encourages the public to get vaccinated, highlighting its role in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. The plea underscores the ongoing importance of vaccination as a fundamental instrument in the fight against the pandemic, urging citizens to take proactive steps to safeguard their health.
 
Excess Mortality Reaches Unprecedented Levels
In a parallel crisis, Portugal is witnessing the highest excess mortality rates in the first seven days of January since 2017. Excluding deaths attributed to COVID-19, this month has become the deadliest in the country in eight years.
 
Between January 1st and 7th 2024, Portugal recorded 3,396 deaths, surpassing the mortality count for the same period in 2017 when 3,408 deaths were reported. Analysis by the Mortality Surveillance Portal reveals that 3,349 of these deaths were unrelated to COVID-19, indicating a significant increase compared to previous years.
//www.cmjornal.pt/sociedade/detalhe/mortalidade-mais-alta-desde-2017">https://www.cmjornal.pt/sociedade/detalhe/mortalidade-mais-alta-desde-2017
 
Comparing the figures to 2021, where 2,829 deaths occurred during the same period (alongside 637 from SARS-CoV-2), and 2022, which saw 2,354 deaths (with an additional 116 from COVID-19), the severity of the current situation becomes evident. Even compared to the same period last year, which reported 2,738 deaths (55 from COVID-19), the excess mortality is notably higher.
 
To contextualize this spike in mortality, one must harken back to 2017 when a winter marked by cold weather and a severe flu epidemic resulted in an excess mortality of 4,467 deaths. The echoes of that grim season seem to reverberate in the present, offering a possible explanation for the recent surge in deaths.
 
Data from the Death Certificate Information System reveals a concerning trend. Between December 1, 2023, and the most recent Sunday, Portugal reported 15,536 deaths, including 182 from COVID-19. This marks an alarming increase of 417 deaths compared to the same period in the previous year (15,119 deaths, including 340 from COVID-19).
 
As Portugal faces this dual health crisis, addressing the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and grappling with unprecedented excess mortality rates, the nation's healthcare system and its citizens are navigating uncharted territory. The call for vaccination and enhanced healthcare measures becomes more urgent than ever as Portugal endeavors to mitigate the impact of these intertwined challenges.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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