Health Ministry’s disease control department warns of flu season

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Health officials conduct check-ups and distribute supplies in Mondulkiri last May after more than 400 people reported symptoms of a flu. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) has warned the public to beware of the seasonal strain of influenza H1N1, also known as “swine flu”, during the current rainy season.

It said there has been a rise in the number of people infected with it during the current rainy season.

The announcement, posted on the CDC website and Facebook page on Friday, said an outbreak of H1N1 had occurred in an unnamed neighbouring country, which subsequently spread to the Kingdom.

By using the influenza surveillance system, the CDC had been alerted to numerous cases of patients infected with it and found that at least some of them have been confirmed as H1N1 infections. However, none were considered serious.

There was an outbreak in Cambodia in 2009, and by 2012 the virus had mutated into a more dangerous strain that resulted in multiple deaths.

Because it is the rainy season now, there is an increased risk of getting infected with H1N1, which health authorities are concerned might develop into H3N2, H2N2, and influenza types B and C, said the CDC.

Influenza can be especially dangerous for certain groups of people, such as children under five-years-old, pregnant women, adults over 65-years-old and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

To prevent contracting the flu, the CDC recommends washing hands frequently with soap or using hand sanitiser and staying at least one metre away from those infected.

It also advised those who have been infected to wear masks and frequently wash their hands to stop its spread.

The symptoms of the flu include having body temperature over 38.5 degrees, coughing, having a sore throat and experiencing fatigue.

The ministry advised the public on flu treatments, including taking medicine, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, reducing outdoor exercise and eating foods containing vitamin C.

It also recommends people not use antibiotics as it won’t help kill the virus, but would instead leave the patient weaker and slow down the recovery process.

Those who experience the flu symptoms are advised to visit the nearest hospital if their condition worsens or they don’t recover in three days.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ly Sovann could not be reached for comment yesterday.

HongTholly Sonit