“Actually, the data for the past four weeks, we registered 134 cases in the last four weeks for influenza-like illness,” Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes of the Baguio Health Services Office (HSO) said in a press conference.
She said that fever, sore throat, body pains, sore throat are monitored and are added in the surveillance system for influenza-like illness.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), there are a total of 10,450 influenza-like cases recorded from January 1 to November 30, which is 9 percent higher than the cases in the same period in 2018 with 9,591.
Influenza-like illness is an acute disease of the respiratory tract characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, prostration, coryza, sore throat and severe cough.
The disease is transmitted via airborne spread among the crowded populations in enclosed spaces wherein the influenza virus may persist for hours, particularly in the cold and in low humidity. Transmission may also occur through direct contact.
The weather bureau PAGASA has recorded the continuous drop in temperature to below 14 degrees Celsius at the start of December with the lowest recorded around 6 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2019, at 11.8 degrees Celsius.
On Tuesday, the recorded temperature was 13 degrees Celsius.
Tubera-Panes said as a preventive measure to influenza-like illnesses, an anti-flu vaccine is administered at least between April and May prior to the first peak of the cold season in Baguio and the Cordillera.
The second peak of the cold season is from December to January.
“It's too late already if we take the vaccine now because the virus is already circulating,” she said.
She said the most vulnerable to illness are the very young and the very old.
"We advise them to keep themselves warm,” she said, advising people going out of the house to wear bonnets, mufflers, and gloves to keep warm.
She also advised the public to hydrate by drinking hot or warm water, always wash their hands and nose, where the virus could accumulate, especially when coming from outdoors.
Tubera-Panes said oil and other liquid can be applied to the body to keep it warm but must be used sparingly, especially by those with skin problems.
"Don’t self medicate, go to a primary care doctor if you are not feeling well,” she said. (PNA)
By Liza Agoot