Solomon Islands
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Drop in Influenza Cases Though Not Yet in the Clear: MHMS

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) says nationally there’s been a 49% decrease in the total number of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) cases reported between Aug 19 and 25.

Total reported cases of ILI over the one week was1729 cases compared to 3370 cases reported in the previous week.

A significant decline in case numbers was noted across all sentinel sites in Honiara (Kukum clinic, Mataniko clinic, NRH and Rove clinic), Malaita (Atoifi Hospital, Auki clinic, and Kilu’ufi Hospital), Guadalcanal (Good Samaritan Hospital) and Makira (Kirakira Hospital).

“We are still not yet in the clear as an increasing number of ILI cases are being reported in Gizo and Taro, and Lata where the number of cases increasing between August 19 and 25 compared to the preceding week.

“This is the highest as compared to previous Influenza-Like Illnesses outbreaks in the past 10 years.

“With regards to age groups affected, the majority of cases were aged from 0 to 39 years; however, all age groups from 0 to 60 plus were affected. The age group with the most cases are those 5 years and below with more females presenting at the health facilities than males,” the Health Ministry said in a prepared statement.

The Ministry says that since July there have been 1,593 respiratory presentations at NRH Emergency Department. Of these, there have been 10 respiratory- related deaths.

5 of these deaths were amongst ages between 44 to 84 years that have underlying health conditions and the other 5 were amongst children aged 0 to 14 years, 2 of whom had known underlying condition.

Of the 10 deaths, 4 had influenza A H3, 1 with chlamydia pneumonia, 2 had no swabs taken, 1 swab was invalid and 1 swab returned negative for any viruses or bacteria and the other result is still pending.

Laboratory testing continues to show Respiratory viruses as the cause for the outbreak of current flu like illness experienced with Influenza A Rhinovirus/Enterovirus, adenovirus and all causes of the common cold or flu.

Source: With MHMS Media