Seasonal Flu can be fatal, warns health ministry

Muscat: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has issued certain guidelines on the Seasonal Flu that is reported from various health institutions across the country, especially during change in climatic conditions.

A statement from the ministry said, “As the Sultanate of Oman is one of the semi-tropical countries, the seasonal flu viruses continue to appear throughout the year. However, the viruses starts getting active early in September and could continue until the mid of May, maximum two times a year.”

In the last season (July 2017 – July 2018), the Sultanate has recorded (2,726) influenza cases along with a number of deaths and complications. While with the beginning of this season, (291) influenza cases have been recorded from the July till the end of September 2018 comparing to (992) cases in the same period of the last season.

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 or blocked nose, body and muscle ache, tiredness (feeling unwell) and vomiting and diarrhea among some people, especially the children. The condition of some patients may worsen and lead to death.

The flu infection is spread through cough or sneeze. In some cases, the infection may occur by touching surfaces or objects contaminated by influenza infection then followed by touching eyes or mouth or nose.

The infection can be transmitted before one-day of symptoms and approximately five to seven days after the symptoms. The infection transmission may last for a long period among the children, as well as people with immune deficiency.

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

To prevent the disease, the preventive measures such as covering mouth and nose when coughing and hands washing regularly should be taking.

Seasonal vaccine is recommended for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications including, health-care workers, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, elderly individuals, patients with chronic medical conditions (such as patients with HIV/ AIDS, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, disorders of kidneys and liver, neurological and metabolic disorders like diabetes and those who taking immunosuppressive drugs), as well as the pilgrims.


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