Flu cases dip in Oman but people must remain vigilant, says Ministry of Health
October 11, 2017 | 11:32 AM
by Times News Service
As a semi-tropical country, seasonal influenza viruses continue to appear throughout the year in the Sultanate.

Muscat: Though the number of Influenza cases has dropped by almost a quarter, compared with 2016, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has warned residents to be vigilant as flu season approaches.

According to the latest report by the MoH, deaths as a result of influenza have reduced over the past three years, with 2017 season seeing eight cases of deaths so far compared to 2015 which recorded 25 deaths.

As a semi-tropical country, seasonal influenza viruses continue to appear throughout the year in the sultanate. The virus starts in early September and can continue until mid-May.

"In 2017, there were 952 cases until the tenth of October of influenza while 2016 saw 1492 cases of influenza," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Sultanate has recorded 25 cases of deaths in 2015, six cases of deaths in 2016, and eight deaths in 2017, all linked to the flu and most of those cases were among the groups most at risk of high risk of complications of influenza. Despite the high number of cases, it is still within the normal range compared to previous years," added the ministry.

The symptoms of influenza start to show two days after exposure to the virus: a cough, sore throat, runny nose or blockage, body and muscle aches, headaches, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea in some people and especially in children. The patient's condition may deteriorate, especially in the most vulnerable groups, which may lead to death.

Flu infection is spread when you cough or sneeze. Sometimes, the infection can also occur by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the flu virus and then touching the eyes, mouth or nose.

The ministry has published a list of protectives measures that should be taken to avoid injury.

"Cover the mouth and nose when coughing and wash hands regularly.

Additionally, it is also recommended to take a seasonal vaccine for the most vulnerable groups including health care workers, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, the elderly, and patients with chronic illness such as HIV / HIV / AIDS and those taking immunosuppressive drugs and pilgrims."

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