Flu strikes city residents

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UP to 72 per cent of people currently admitted at the National Referral Hospital are suffering from the flu outbreak in Honiara.

That’s according to Health minister Dr Culwick Togamana.

Togamana said the flu-like illness is spreading amongst our population, mainly in our Honiara, parts of Guadalcanal, as well as Malaita Province.

“In terms of admissions at our National Referral Hospital Emergency Department (ED) in the past 24 hours, 72 percent of total ED admissions are respiratory patients, 68 adults and 26 children,” the minister said.

“Our doctors including paediatricians are working hard to provide treatment and care to the 5 paediatric inpatients admitted with flu-like symptoms,” he added.

Togamana said most cases presented to health facilities were babies and children.

“Now we are also seeing influx of adults also presenting with flu like illnesses.

“Symptoms include; Flu or runny nose, coughing, fever, nausea or vomiting, headache and shortness of breath or short-wind as commonly known.”

Togamana said the NRH laboratory technicians have since conducted laboratory tests from swab samples collected from patients and discovered multiple respiratory viruses with Rhinovirus and influenza H3 predominating, as the main drivers of the outbreak.

“These are viruses that cause common cold or flu-like illnesses that we are experiencing today.

“COVID-19 tests performed on the same samples returned negative test results

“These viruses are common cause of flu and cold and usually the symptoms are self-limiting.

“Kids especially those with other illnesses such as respiratory diseases and heart disease and adults who are old or have other disease such as obesity, diabetes, respiratory or heart disease may have severe disease requiring hospitalization,” he said.