Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wet spell pushes up number of influenza-like illness cases

There is a slight increase in influenza-like illness (ILI) cases due to the wet spell.

Health Ministry's Disease Control Division director Dr Chong Chee Kheong said the number of ILI cases compared to total number of outpatients (national ILI consultation rate) from Oct 7 to Nov 3 showed such cases went up from 0.43% to 0.50%.

He said this was still well below the alert threshold of 10%.

Dr Chong said the ministry's virus surveillance on week 37 (up to Sept 15) showed that the circulating virus was mainly the influenza B virus (72.3%) which was less virulent compared to the influenza A virus (11.6%).

He said ILI occurred throughout the year with a slight increase during the wet season.

The main symptoms of influenza are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headache and fatigue, he said.

To prevent the spread of influenza viruses, he said people should follow basic hygiene rules and frequently wash their hands with soap and water.

“If someone has symptoms and signs of influenza such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, he should seek early treatment,” he said, adding that those down with the flu should stay home until they were better.


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