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Influenza Cases On The Rise, Time To Mask Up Again

Jul 29, 2023

People with symptoms are encouraged to wear face masks and practice social distancing as influenza is highly contagious.

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Health Minister, Dr Zaliha Mustafa encourages candidates and election officials participating in the six state elections that have signs of influenza to take precautionary measures, including wearing face masks and practising social distancing.

As reported by Bernama, she emphasized that wearing a face mask during the campaign could effectively limit the transmission of contagious diseases, especially influenza.

Common signs of influenza that everyone should look out for include fever, body aches, frequent sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough and headache.

Influenza is a contagious disease. For those who have symptoms regardless of whether they are candidates or election officials, if there are having the symptoms, they should see a doctor quickly and take the necessary precautionary measures, like wearing a face mask.

Zaliha also mentions that this precautionary advice is a response to the overcapacity situation in private hospitals within the country which is caused by a surge of influenza cases.

Furthermore, the Malaysian Association of Private Hospitals confirmed on Monday (July 31) that many hospitals were reaching their capacity, leading to admission delays.

In addition, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who’s also Umno’s deputy president, was recently diagnosed with influenza on Wednesday (August 2).

Having a bad cough and fever, his doctors told him to rest at home for three days instead of going out campaigning as he might infect others.

According to a Chest Specialist, Dr Nurul Yaqeen, influenza, or commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection caused by either the influenza A or influenza B virus strains.

These viruses usually target the respiratory system, affecting the nose, throat, airways, and even the lungs. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, talk or touches surface areas contaminated by the droplets.

Anyone having these symptoms should go see a doctor for a medicine prescription.

Here are a few treatment options for influenza:

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Antiviral medicationFever & Symptom managementHydrationRest & Self-care