Muscat: An Oman resident has died from the H1N1 flu virus, the Ministry of Health has announced.
Government health officials have acted to reassure residents that all protocols are in place following the death, in the first week of October, and issued guidance on how to avoid the virus.
There have been “many” notified cases of influenza in Oman in 2017, with just one death from H1N1 and many others making a full recovery, according to the ministry.
H1N1 is caused by a relatively new type of flu virus responsible for a global flu outbreak (or pandemic) in 2009-10. It’s now just a normal type of seasonal flu and is included in the annual flu vaccine.
The scientific name for the flu virus is A/H1N1pdm09 – sometimes shortened to “H1N1”.
The virus was first identified in Mexico in April 2009. It spread rapidly from country to country because it was a new type of flu virus that few young people were immune to.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said: “In the first week of October 2017, one death was reported due to infection with this type of virus, the competent authorities of the Directorate, represented by the Department of Control and Control of Diseases, have taken the necessary procedures and measures for epidemiological investigation of the case and follow up the direct contacts of the case and took samples of them, which later showed their non-infection with the virus.
The health education of the community on the disease and prevention methods has also been intensified.” The statement adds: “Seasonal influenza is a severe respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus that is spreading all over the world. Influenza infection is spread through the spray when coughing or sneezing.
Occasionally, infection may occur by touching surfaces or objects contaminated by the influenza virus and then touching the eyes or mouth.
“Influenza A (H1N1) is one type of influenza A virus, the most influenza-causing species in humans, It first appeared as a new virus that caused a pandemic in 2009, and the World Health Organisation declared the epidemic to end in August 2010. Since then, the virus has been circulating among humans, like all seasonal flu viruses.
“As in other governorates of Oman, Al-Dhahirah has been registered since the onset of the disease in 2009, and so far there have been many cases of influenza A (H1N1) that have recovered.
“Because the current period is the period of spread of seasonal influenza and to avoid infection preventive measures should be taken, covering the mouth and nose from cough and the need for hand washing regularly.
“ It is also recommended to take seasonal vaccine for the most vulnerable groups, including those in the field of healthcare, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy and the elderly, patients suffering from chronic diseases and pilgrims. The ministry also asked resident to take information on H1N1 only from official sources and not to listen to rumours.
“The General Directorate of Health Services in Al-Dhahirah Governorate calls for the necessity of taking the health information from its source and not rumour.”