In­fluenza cases till Oc­to­ber show de­cline; MoH is­sues ad­vi­sory for pre­ven­tion

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Our Cor­re­spon­dent Mus­cat

Sta­tis­tics by the Min­istry of Health (MoH) show that there has been a de­crease in the num­ber of in­fluenza cases reg­is­tered so far this year as com­pared to last year. In 2017, Oman saw 952 in­fluenza cases and eight deaths till Oc­to­ber, while in 2016 there were 1,492 cases and nine deaths. In 2015 deaths due to flu stood at 25.

How­ever, the MoH has is­sued a guide­line warn­ing peo­ple against sea­sonal flu which is ac­tive par­tic­u­lary be­tween early Septem­ber and May. Since, Oman is a semi-trop­i­cal coun­try, sea­sonal flu viruses ap­pear through­out the year.

Sea­sonal flu is an acute respi- ra­tory in­fec­tion caused by in­fluenza virus. Usu­ally, af­ter two days of ex­po­sure to the virus, the flu-in­fected per­son may feel some or all the fol­low­ing symp­toms: Fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body and mus­cle ache, tired­ness, vom­it­ing and even di­ar­rhoea among some peo­ple, es­pe­cially chil­dren. The con­di­tion of some pa­tients may worsen and can also lead to death.

Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when peo­ple with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of peo­ple who are nearby and are in­haled into the lungs. A per­son might also get flu by touch­ing a sur­face or ob­ject that has flu virus on it.

The in­fec­tion can be trans­mit- ted to other peo­ple begin­ning one day be­fore symp­toms de­velop and up to five to seven days af­ter be­com­ing sick. The in­fec­tion trans­mis­sion may last for a long pe­riod among the chil­dren, as well as peo­ple with im­mune de­fi­ciency.

Treat­ment of in­fluenza re­quires drink­ing lots of wa­ter, rest and tak­ing an­tivi­ral medicines that can re­duce se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions and deaths, es­pe­cially for the high-risk groups.

Pre­ven­tive mea­sures in­clude cov­er­ing the mouth and nose when cough­ing and wash­ing hands reg­u­larly. Sea­sonal vac­cine is rec­om­mended for peo­ple at higher risk such as health­care work­ers, preg­nant women, el­derly, pa­tients with chronic med­i­cal con­di­tions as well as pil­grims.

Pho­to­graph for il­lus­tra­tive pur­pose only

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