Rise in Influenza Like-Illness cases

Rokiah Mahmud

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said there was an increase in the number of Influenza Like-Illness (ILI) cases for the last several months.

In December last year, 6,274 people were treated compared to the same period in the previous year when 5,163 people were treated.

The ministry in a press release stated that it was continuing its observation on the influenza virus since 2009.

The observations include monitoring the number of patients receiving treatment at health centres in the country who are experiencing the same symptoms or ILI as well as those infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI).

The ministry advised the public not to panic as analysis’ showed that the Influenza virus in the country does not show the symptoms of the new influenza virus (novel virus) reported from Wuhan city, China and is not related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) disease.

According to the World Health Organization, the influenza experienced in the country is similar to that in East Asia, South Asia and America.

The symptoms of the influenza are fever, sore-throat, cough, muscle and joint pain and tiredness.

The flu can easily be infected. It can affect another through deposits from the nose, saliva, sneezing, coughing, talking and breathing.

The seasonal influenza can become serious if the elderly, pregnant woman and those with chronic illness like diabetes, hypertension and asthma are affected.

The seasonal influenza vaccine is encouraged for those in the high-risk group.

Persons travelling overseas are advised to take preventive steps like maintaining personal hygiene, washing hands with water, soap or hand sanitiser and avoid contact with persons infected with the flu.

Persons with symptoms of influenza are advised to rest and not visit public areas. If the need arises they are advised to wear face-masks and cover their noses and mouths with tissues, towels or handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing.

The used tissues must be disposed immediately while items like towels and handkerchiefs should not be shared. They should also seek prompt treatment if the symptoms worsen.

The MoH also advised the public to obtain medical or travel insurance from local insurance companies before travelling overseas.

For information, the public can contact Darussalam line 123 or check its website www.moh.gov.bn.