Surge in influenza cases, formerly known as 'Swine Flu'

There is a surge in influenza cases. Images: Canva

Surge in influenza cases, formerly known as ‘Swine Flu’

A number of flu strains are circulating in South Africa, the most common being A(H1N1) pdm09, previously known as ‘swine flu.’

Surge in influenza cases, formerly known as 'Swine Flu'

There is a surge in influenza cases. Images: Canva

The health department says several flu strains are circulating in South Africa, the most common being A(H1N1) pdm09, previously known as ‘swine flu.’

THE INFLUENZA A VIRUS IS MORE SEVERE IN ADULTS

This is followed by influenza B/Victoria and influenza A(H3N2).

The influenza A virus is more severe in adults.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the numbers of influenza cases and positivity rates are increasing rapidly, but the transmission and impact remain at a moderate level of activity for both outpatient and hospitalised cases.

Health authorities advise the public to get the flu vaccine

“This means while there is a lot of influenza circulating, it is still within the expected range for a normal influenza season.

“About 8% to 10% of patients hospitalised for pneumonia and 25% of patients with flu-like illness (fever and cough) will test positive for influenza during the flu season.”

Health authorities are encouraging high-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. These include:

  • pregnant women (including six weeks after delivery);
  • individuals living with HIV;
  • those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, tuberculosis, heart disease, renal disease and obesity; and
  • the elderly.

IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR TO GET IT TO PROTECT THEMSELVES

“Ideally, the influenza vaccine should be administered prior to the start of the influenza season because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop after vaccination, but it is not too late for people to get it to protect themselves and their loved ones against the viruses,” the department said.

“Non-pharmaceutical interventions — such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, enough ventilation and regular handwashing with water and soap/sanitiser — can help to minimise the spread of the disease.”

the NICD says.

Meanwhile the second confirmed case of Mpox have been confirmed.

HERE IS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SECOND CONFIRMED CASE OF MPOX

Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale urged members of the public who experience suspected symptoms of Mpox disease (formerly known as Monkeypox) to visit their nearest healthcare provider for screening.

“We also need to test to ensure early diagnosis and effective treatment to prevent further spread of the disease.”

Mohale said the country had recorded the second laboratory-confirmed case of Mpox disease, an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus with the potential to cause a painful or itchy rash like pimples or blisters.