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Influenza outbreak in Vanuatu, Situation report No.2 27 July 2022.

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The Ministry of Health would like to update on the Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) cases in Vanuatu. From 11 to 17 July, the National Surveillance unit recorded 362 Influenza like Illness cases. The Number of new cases decreased nationally by 43% from the previous week.

To date, a total of 8336 Influenza like Illness cases were recorded. Out of the total ILI: 36% from Sanma, 28 % from Shefa, 11% in Penama, 9% from Tafea, 8% from Torba and 5% from Malampa Province . Nine (9) Cases were reported hospitalised, all had underlying conditions and all now recovered with no deaths reported during this period.

The Number of cases documented has now dropped below the alert threshold, and the National Surveillance unit within the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the situation to determine if the outbreak has ended.

 

Signs and symptoms.

Influenza is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose. The cough can be severe and can last 2 or more weeks.

Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. But severe illness or death can result, especially in people at high risk. These include pregnant women, children under 5 years-old, the elderly, individuals with underlying medical conditions (such as chronic cardiac, pulmonary, renal, metabolic, neurodevelopmental, liver or hematologic diseases) and immunosuppressed individuals. Health care workers are at high risk of acquiring influenza due to increased exposure to patients.

 

Prevention.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health continues to advise people that those who are sick stay home to avoid infecting others. Other public health and social measures put in place for COVID-19 can also prevent other respiratory illnesses. These include: frequent handwashing with soap and water, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, covering coughs and sneezes, physical distancing, meeting in well ventilated areas, and avoiding crowds.

Immunization Is the most effective measure against influenza. People who are at high risk including those with underlying medical condition and those who are 55 years old and above are encouraged to receive an influenza vaccine. While the Ministry of Health is not conducting an influenza vaccination program, these may be accessed through private clinics and pharmacies for a fee.

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Ministry of Health Office
Port-Vila

Phone: +(678) 22512 / +(678) 33080
VOIP: 2050

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