Central America: COVID-19 transmission continues across the region in June /update 18

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June 07, 2022 | 22:25 UTC

High COVID-19 activity continues in Central America in June. Maintain basic health precautions.

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Event

The Central America region has reported high overall transmission of COVID-19 according to data through June 6. The countries below have identified confirmed cases of COVID-19 from May 6 to June 6. Nicaragua has not reported any new cases since April. Countries are ranked by risk of transmission according to the incidence rate (cases per 100,000 people) over the past four weeks:

High risk of transmission

Moderate risk of transmission

Low risk of transmission

The context

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Human-to-human transmission occurs, primarily through respiratory droplets from infected people or through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Symptoms appear 1-14 days after exposure (average 3-7 days). These symptoms typically include fever, fatigue, and a dry cough; less common symptoms include headache, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, reddening of the eyes, rash, or discoloration of fingers or toes. Symptoms can worsen and become difficulty breathing, pneumonia, and organ failure, especially in people with underlying chronic medical conditions. Some infected people have no symptoms. Several variants of COVID-19 have been identified around the world, some of which spread more easily between people. COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, although this distribution is uneven across countries, while other vaccines are in various stages of development and clinical trials; more data is needed to determine the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19 variants.

The elderly and people of all ages with chronic illnesses or compromised immunity should consider postponing non-essential travel, including domestic travel, and take special precautions to avoid becoming ill, especially when transmission community support from COVID-19 is underway. All individuals should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.

Tips

Insist on basic sanitation precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Practice good cough/sneeze etiquette (i.e. cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintain distance from others, and wash hands). There is no evidence that the flu shot, antibiotics, or antiviral drugs prevent this disease; however, several COVID-19 vaccines have been made available and distributed in some countries. Monitor government vaccination schedules and get a government-approved vaccine when eligible and when offered. All people, including those vaccinated, should continue to prioritize basic health precautions, as long-term immunity to COVID-19 is still under investigation.

Resources

WHO knowledge base on coronavirus
WHO: Public health considerations when resuming international travel
US CDC: Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Communities
US CDC: Tips for Businesses and Workplaces
Mental health considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak
US CDC: Managing Anxiety and Stress

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