Hundreds of influenza illnesses have been detected in the Country, says MOH


Since April 5, hundreds of influenza or flu-like illnesses have been detected in the Country, mainly at the hospital in Moto’otua. 

A statement released by the Ministry of Health says there is also an ongoing increased circulation of flu-like illnesses in some of the Pacific Island Countries such as Fiji Tonga and French Polynesia and that influenza B a type of influenza has been confirmed its resurgence in Fiji and French Polynesia. 

Currently, the Samoa Public Health surveillance is monitoring the current status of this influenza and that of the cases presented to the main hospitals.

Influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses and it is contagious. It may occur in tropical regions throughout the year and can cause outbreaks more irregularly. Influenza can cause illnesses which become severe and sometimes lead to hospitalization and death.

There are 4 types of Influenza (Flu) which are; Type A, B, C, D.

The most common is type A & B and Samoa have both types A & B. Type influenza (flu) is the most common and can be more serious in adults and type B is confirmed to be more common in children and more serious in young children. Both Influenza Type A & B are to be taken seriously and monitored closely due to their potential nature to be severe.

However, ever since returning to normalcy, many people are not vigilant in basic preventative measures of preventing flu-like symptoms of diseases such as COVID-19. Therefore, it is not a surprise to see an increased number of influenza illnesses.

What are the Symptoms of the Influenza-like-Illnesses (Flu)?

Symptoms for Influenza (Flu) is the same as COVID-19 which include fever, headache, muscle ache, and also upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.

• It spreads through inhaling droplets from coughs or sneezes from an infected person; and many people have a loss of smell and taste.

• Some people may not have any symptoms at all and could still spread the virus.

Who are the persons at risk?

People who are most at risk of severe illness or death from the influenza B (flu) are young children, older adults, pregnant women, people with serious underlying conditions such as lung or heart disease and health workers.

What are the Preventions?

• Maintain a safe physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, and ensure to have open windows in closed, crowded and close-contact space

• Wear a mask every time at all times, especially in places where you can’t keep a safe distance. In the hospital, it is compulsory to wear a mask every time before you enter.

• Change and clean re-useable masks regularly. If use disposable masks, use once and dispose properly in a rubbish bin.

• Practise proper hand hygiene regularly especially in public places with soap and clean water or use hand sanitizers

•Add Disinfect contaminated surfaces

• Stay home when you are sick

• For school children, please keep them at home if they are ill

• Maintain a healthy lifestyle such as drinking water and eating healthy

• It is important to breastfeed babies as it offers the best protection against any viruses/diseases

• Follow all precaution and prevention measures if you have flu-like symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus.

Seek medical attention and visit the nearest hospital if you/your family have complications or serious symptoms of flu-like illnesses.

The Ministry of Health also advises the public to take heed of the preventative measures when observing to have flu-like symptoms.