February 24, 2024

The City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) cautions the public against respiratory ailments as the cold season approaches.

CESU head Dr. Donnabel T. Panes reported about the significant increase of influenza-like illness (ILI) in  the past four weeks in a recent forum.

ILI is a respiratory illness characterized by fever, fatigue, and cough or sore throat.

Panes reported that from August to September, the total number of admitted cases of pneumonia in the hospitals has increased to 84 percent, from 134 in August to 246 in September. There are already 77 cases reported this month. The increase is noted among the pediatric age group.

ILI tends to increase during the cold season for various reasons.  When it is cold, people tend to stay indoors so transmission would increase, and when the temperature drops, our immune system is not functioning optimally, Panes said.

She advised the public to get flu shots. Flu vaccines are available at the City Health Services Office, however, supply is limited and priority is being given to health workers, senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities.

She assured that flu vaccines are available and for those who cannot avail the free vaccines they can visit their family physicians and pay for it.

Panes reminded the public to still wear mask especially if they have symptoms, and if they go to crowded places such as hospitals and classrooms. People who are sick should also stay home, rest, stay hydrated, and practice frequent handwashing. 

Panes also reported that vector-borne diseases such as dengue and zoonotic diseases such as leptospirosis are still around as it is still raining in some parts of the region.

She also cautioned on the increase of conjunctivitis in schools, which most often is caused by viral infection, although it may also be a result of bacterial infection. She stressed the importance of frequent handwashing, personal hygiene to prevent the spread of infection.

Panes called on school administrators to report cases of sore eyes to CESU so they will be recorded and be given assistance. – Maria Aprila W. Cruz