Influenza Epidemic in the Maldives

There has been a sudden increase in the number of influenza cases in the Maldives.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the number of cases has drastically risen form 10% of all tested to 40% of all tested in the month of June.

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The major strain which is spreading quickly is the Influenza B strain.

The HPA has released some instructions for the major public to follow to be safe in prevention and recovery from the disease.

The HPA has announced a list of people that could be most easily affected:

– Pregnant people
– Children under the age of 5
– People with disabilities
– Senior citizens
– People suffering from diabetes, thalassemia, and heart, lungs or kidney problems
– People with a weak immune system

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Graph: HPA

With most of the disease spreading quickly in public, it is best to take precautions in public places and to make sure you do not spread the infection further on.

Regarding this, the HPA has recommended some steps to take in public places such as:

– Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
– Do not spit on the road or other public places
– Dispose used tissues and masks safely into a dustbin

Even with precautions, being prepared in case you get sick is a healthier option. Thus, the HPA assures the public that these steps would in the best interest of the public:

– Wait the first three days at home using a home remedy
– If severity increases, consult a medical professional as soon as possible
– Do not use any medication other than Paracetamol without consulting
– Do not visit the hospital unless necessary to prevent further spread of the disease.

However, being prepared would be the best case for the general public’s wellbeing.

With the epidemic spreading, HPA recommends these methods of preventing Influenza:

– Use soap or sanitizer and wash hands regularly
– Avoid crowded spaces
– Get vaccinated as soon as possible

HPA urges the public to get the quadrivalent influenza vaccine, which can protect you from all strands of the virus, which is now available at medical centers.

The government-run vaccine center has announced its influenza consultation times in April 2019.

While the consultation and vaccination are from the morning at 8:15 am till 1:30 pm, locals will receive free consultation while vaccination is for MVR 10.

However, expatriates will require MVR 100 for consultation and MVR 20 for vaccination.

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