INFLUENZA that claimed lives of 20 in­fants brought un­der con­trol


Health Min­is­ter Ra­jitha Se­naratne claim­ing that the influenza which had claimed lives of nearly 20 in­fants in the south and else­where, was now be­ing brought un­der con­trol, added that the influenza virus changed rapidly and there­fore the same vac­cine could not be used to con­trol the dis­ease all the time.

The influenza fever has been con­trolled and it is not spread­ing as re­ported by cer­tain me­dia

There­fore, the re­luc­tance of doc­tors to in­ject anti – influenza vac­cine on pa­tients is un­der­stand­able, Dr. Se­naratne said.

“The influenza fever has been con­trolled and it is not spread­ing as re­ported by cer­tain me­dia. You must not count deaths oc­curred from other dis­eases as influenza deaths,” he told re­porters.

Sea­sonal influenza viruses cir­cu­late and cause dis­eases ev­ery year. In Sri Lanka, in the past few years, it has been gen­er­ally ob­served dur­ing April to June and again in Novem­ber to Jan­uary. It spreads from per­son-to-per­son through sneez­ing, cough­ing, or touch­ing con­tam­i­nated sur­faces. Sea­sonal influenza viruses can cause mild to se­vere ill­ness and even death, par­tic­u­larly in some high-risk in­di­vid­u­als.

Per­sons at in­creased risk for se­vere dis­ease in­clude preg­nant women, the very young and very old, im­mune-com­pro­mised peo­ple, and peo­ple with chronic un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions such as can­cer, di­a­betes mel­li­tus and heart dis­eases. Sea­sonal influenza viruses evolve con­tin­u­ously, which means that peo­ple can get in­fected mul­ti­ple times through­out their lives. There­fore the com­po­nents of sea­sonal influenza vac­cines are gen­er­ally re­viewed bi-an­nu­ally and up­dated pe­ri­od­i­cally to en­sure con­tin­ued ef­fec­tive­ness of the vac­cines. Re­cently, the Na­tional Drug Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of Sri Lanka has given li­cence for the use of sea­sonal influenza (flu) vac­cine.

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