Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Muharram 7, 1446 H
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Follow precautions to avoid seasonal influenza


The Ministry of Health (MoH) has given a general call to remain vigilant against the relatively harmless seasonal influenza, which is spreading fast. Change in the weather is complementing the flu, it said.

Need not panic after having flu symptoms like cough, sneezing and fever. It said the best is to take care of oneself and not become a carrier to another person.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr Saif al Abri, Director General of Disease Control and Surveillance at the MoH, said no new mutant of Covid-19 has been reported yet.

"We don't have any of the new mutant or variant of the erstwhile Covid-19 yet while the Omicron cases are still around. We do the genetic sequencing of the virus, and we haven't found the variant here," Dr Al Abri added.

He asked for the same precautions to protect against the flu. Wearing a mask, staying away from others, taking rest at home, avoiding close contact with others, maintaining hand hygiene, and following cough and sneeze etiquette are important.

Regarding the influenza vaccine, he said people who are at risk or have comorbidities and aged 60 and above should complete their Covid-19 vaccine doses if they haven't taken them yet. Influenza vaccine should also be taken while other age groups will be asked to take the vaccine from time to time.

"Other age groups than senior people will be asked to take influenza vaccine as and when the country has enough stocks of the same."

However, they can get vaccinated at private clinics and hospitals, according to the MoH.

"Vaccine against influenza is available in the private sector, and those who have comorbidities such as chronic diseases should take the vaccine at the earliest. Also, anyone interested in taking the vaccine can take it from any private hospital or clinic," the DG added.

"We will have to take vaccine for every seasonal influenza as and when it's prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and vaccines are available and are recommended worldwide."


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