Talent Gore

AT some point in recent weeks, we all have been affected, in one way or the other, with a severe influenza bug which has been running riot in our homes and communities.

Those who haven’t caught it certainly know a family member, or a friend, who has suffered from this severe flu virus.

It has caused so much discomfort, among those who have caught it, there are some who even felt they had been infected by a new Covid strain.

Flu bugs are common in winter.

Now, the Harare City Health Services has established emergency clinics, throughout the capital, for the treatment and testing for individuals, suspected of having the influenza virus.

This comes at a time the Ministry of Health and Child Care has recorded 3 956 suspected influenza cases and zero deaths this week.

The Ministry says the provinces that reported the highest number of suspected influenza cases were Mashonaland East (1118) and Mashonaland Central (1114).

The cumulative figures for influenza are 91 439 and there have been no deaths associated with the flu.

The surge in influenza-like illnesses has prompted a citywide warning from City Health Services Director, Prosper Chonzi, who urged residents to seek immediate medical attention if they experience flu-like symptoms.

Dr Chonzi emphasised the widespread nature of the outbreak, with cases reported across various parts of Harare.

He outlined the importance of prompt medical care to prevent complications and hospitalisation.

“We are urging residents to seek medical attention immediately if they experience any flu-like symptoms,” said Dr Chonzi.

“These symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and fatigue.”

Dr Chonzi pointed to the winter season as a factor contributing to the increased circulation of the influenza virus.

He stressed the importance of preventative measures to curb the spread of the spread of the virus.

“These measures include frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.”

The Government has already said that the surge in flu-like illnesses reported across Zimbabwe is a result of the common cold associated with the winter season.

The Government said its investigations had revealed that this was not a new or exotic bug but advised people to take  routine precautions and live a healthy lifestyle.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care told our sister newspaper, The Herald, that routine disease surveillance had shown an increase in flu-like illnesses, since the beginning of the year but, after investigating, the Ministry was confident that the illness was just the common cold virus.

Secretary for Health and Child Care, Dr Aspect Maunganidze, reassured the nation that the country had not reported any cases of Covid-19 or new viruses, and gave advice on how to minimise infection.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care would want to reassure the public that the flu-like illnesses seen in the country are due to the common cold. 

“The winter season is associated with increased incidence of common colds and that is what has been seen so far. The cases are neither due to Covid-19 nor other new viruses,” he said.

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