Sea­sonal flu cases stable: Min­istry

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT: Reg­is­tered cases of sea­sonal flu have sta­bi­lized at 10 to 20 cases out of 100,000 per­sons, less than in­ter­na­tional records of 35 to 55 cases for the same bench­mark, the Min­istry of Health an­nounced yes­ter­day. The Min­istry’s Un­der­sec­re­tary for Pub­lic Health Af­fairs Dr Ma­jedah Al-Qat­tan told a press con­fer­ence that the Min­istry has pro­vided 130,000 vac­cines for sea­sonal flu. She noted that pre­scrib­ing per­sons of sen­si­tive cat­e­gories to take the vac­cine is still un­der study, point­ing out that this op­tion is not com­pul­sory in other coun­tries for this seg­ment. She added that the ef­fi­cacy of the vac­cine varies from 50 to 70 per­cent. The ef­fec­tive­ness of the vac­cine de­pends on many fac­tors such as: Smok­ing, per­sonal hy­giene and healthy eat­ing habits.

The num­ber of flu cases in schools has not reached 5 in one school, adding the stu­dents form 25 per­cent of the so­ci­ety and the num­ber of recorded flu cases among stu­dents is less than that recorded in the en­tire so­ci­ety; hence, there is no need to panic or worry about this sea­sonal flu.

The sta­tis­tics on diseases and epi­demics are cal­cu­lated as a per­cent­age for each 100 thou­sand per­sons. She ad­vised per­sons of sen­si­tive cat­e­gories: preg­nant women, se­niors, or pa­tients who have HIV to take vac­cine against flu since they are most vul­ner­a­ble to sea­sonal in­fluenza viruses.

Mean­while, chief of epi­demics at the Min­istry Dr Musab Al-Saleh said at the same con­fer­ence that preg­nant women can take the vac­cine at any stage of their preg­nancy, say­ing that “the vac­cine is safe for ev­ery­one.” He de­nied ru­mors on the lack of safety of the vac­cine, not­ing that the Health Min­istry pro­vides 100,000 vac­cines against sea­sonal flu ev­ery year; this year it re­quested an ad­di­tional 40,000. —KUNA

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