Threat of Lethal Autumn Looms in Europe After Covid Reprieve

Threat of Lethal Autumn Looms in Europe After Covid Reprieve

  • French, German data show virus spreading in older people
  •  Europe faces ‘very serious situation’ with resurgence: WHO

As vacations and parties fed a late-summer surge of Covid-19 in Europe, there’s been one reassuring constant: a lower death toll. The latest numbers out of the continent’s hardest-hit countries show the relief may only be temporary.

The virus has started spreading in older populations again, according to data from France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. In France, its prevalence among those aged 75 or over more than doubled in the past three weeks.

The shift could be a tipping point as Europe faces another wave of the virus. Rising cases among the elderly, more reports of nursing-home clusters and the number of deaths edging upward are “major warning signs,” France’s public health agency said in a report on Thursday.

“We have a very serious situation unfolding,” said Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, said. For the first time, he wore a mask at the press conference on Thursday. “The September case numbers should serve as a wakeup call for all of us.”