Referring to the fake news items about influenza, circulating on social media, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said the relevant statements had not been issued by the Ministry of Health.
“There is an increase in influenza patients every year with the North East monsoon season. There was an increase of influenza patients during November and December last year as well,” Dr. Jasinghe said.
However, there was a decrease in the number of patients in December compared to November 2019. Therefore, it is expected that the number of patients would reduce in the coming months.
The flu caused by the influenza virus has minor symptoms like cold, fever and cough. Most of the time patients recover without any specific treatment. But high risk groups including pregnant mothers, children below two years, adults above 65 years, immune-compromised patients and patients with chronic diseases of heart, liver, kidney and patients with cancers and diabetes may have complications of influenza.
Therefore, those high risk categories of patients with symptoms should consult a qualified Medical Officer for treatment. High risk patients should comply with the medical advice for minimizing the exacerbation and complications. Patients in good health under any age category with these symptoms exacerbation and difficulty in breathing also should take treatments as soon as possible.
Good health habits should be practiced for the prevention of the infection and spread of disease, like covering the face using a handkerchief when coughing and sneezing, hand washing with soap and water, avoid touching face, nose and minimizing unnecessary gathering at crowded public places.
Specially, children, pregnant mothers and adults in the high risk groups should refrain from unnecessary gathering of crowded public places with congestion to control further spread of disease.
The current influenza is a general disease condition. This is not due to an unrecognized disease of a new virus and there is no need to panic unnecessarily,” the Ministry of Health said.