MANILA, Philippines – Influenza or flu is common nowadays as the northeast monsoon or amihan prolongs drop in temperature in the country.
Flu differs from common cough and cold since it is accompanied with high fever and muscle pain that last for days.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), flu season starts from the month of October to February.
But the DOH warns of the severe effects or complications that flu can cause to the human body which can be fatal if not immediately attended to.
“Binabantayan natin kung ano iyong strain at talagang by middle of the year nagbabakuna na tayo. Sa Pilipinas ang peak lang talaga ng flu-like illnesses itong panahon ng malamig,” explained Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.
“Ang nakakatakot lang kasi na gusto nating ma- prevent iyong mga flu na nagkakaroon ng complication. Kasi maaari siyang mauwi sa pneumonia at of course maaaring in the end makamatay,” the health official warned.
In view of the possible outbreak, the DOH reminds the public to keep protected by strengthening the immune system.
Take vitamin C shots and more fluids like orange juice and six to eight glasses of water every day.
Sleep at least six to eight hours a day and make sure to exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.
Make it a habit to wear face mask especially when in crowded places or when travelling to avoid contracting flu virus.
Based on DOH records, flu cases in the country has declined this year as compared to the same period last year considering that the flu strain detected last year was stronger than those being monitored this year.
“Worrisome ang flu last year. Medyo matapang iyong flu last year hindi lang sa Pilipians kundi sa ibang bansa sa Amerika, sa Hong Kong. It was a virulent strain last year,” noted Domingo.
The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the flu has become one of the severe health threats in the world this year.
The DOH advises parents to make sure their children get a complete set of vaccination to be well-protected.
Meanwhile, senior citizens may also avail of free flu shots in barangay health centers and DOH accredited hospitals. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)