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How to protect from Influenza this season?


Dec 10 2017

With the winters gradually moving towards its peak, The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) is creating awareness in the community regarding the advent of the influenza season and strategising to provide a sustainable environment to ensure community wellness.

Influenza is a contagious disease that affects the respiratory system in humans due to influenza virus which affects all age groups. The illness can vary from light to severe flu infection. The most common symptoms are rise in body temperature (fever), Coughing (usually dry), Body aches, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea in some people, especially children Seasonal flu spreads easily through the inhalation of droplets that carry the virus, from coughing or sneezing; or when touching surfaces contaminated by the flu virus and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth. The duration of the infection varies from one day before the onset of symptoms to 5-7 days after the onset, and this period can last longer in children and people with a weak immune system.

Most patients recover from a fever and other symptoms within one week without the need for medical intervention. Taking available anti-viral drugs helps preventing the complications and treatment is most effective if taken promptly within 48-72 hours from starting the symptoms.

To prevent the spread of infection in the community, the Ministry recommends following cough etiquette that is covering the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, and regularly washing hands.

The best way to prevent the disease and its serious complications is to get a seasonal influenza vaccination every year. It is recommended for all, especially for those who are at higher risk of complications and they are people with chronic diseases, weak immune system, people 65 years of age and above, children under 5 years of age, especially under 2 years of age, pregnant women and healthcare workers. The vaccination is available in the health centres of the ministry, local health entities and in the private health sector.

MOHAP is working with local health entities to strengthen national influenza response capacities including diagnostics, antiviral susceptibility monitoring, disease surveillance and outbreak responses, and to increase vaccine coverage among high-risk groups.

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