Influenza-like cases in Ilocos up by 56% in Jan-Sept

By Hilda Austria

October 12, 2023, 6:06 pm

<p>DOH-CHD-1 medical officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis during the virtual presser on Oct. 12, 2023. <em>(Photo screenshot from PIA Ilocos Region's page)</em></p>

DOH-CHD-1 medical officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis during the virtual presser on Oct. 12, 2023. (Photo screenshot from PIA Ilocos Region's page)

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – The Department of Health - Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) 1 (Ilocos Region) has recorded a 56 percent year-on-year increase in influenza-like cases to 6,834 from January to September from 4,369 in the same period last year.

DOH-CHD-1 medical officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis said bulk of the cases registered to date are from La Union with 3,003, followed by 1,853 from Pangasinan and 248 from Dagupan City (a chartered city), 1,220 from Ilocos Sur, and 510 from Ilocos Norte.

He said the scrapping of the mandatory use of face masks outdoors and easing of restrictions are among the factors seen to have contributed to the rise in influenza-like cases.

“Tumaas din (ang) exposure at libre na mag-gather ang mga kababayan (natin) kaya tumaas (ang) risk for influenza (Exposure increased and people are now free to gather so the risk for influenza also rose),” he said during the virtual presser hosted by the Philippine Information Agency 1 (Ilocos Region) on Thursday.

Bobis said among the vulnerable sectors are the elderly and children aged one year to four years old.

He, thus advised the public to take preventive measures, such as availing of flu vaccines.

He said senior citizens could avail of free flu vaccine from rural health units or health centers in their localities.

Flu shots are also available in some private clinics.

Bobis also urged the elderly to avoid places that are crowded or do not have proper ventilation as air-borne diseases easily spread in these areas.

“For children, and also the adults, proper nutrition and proper prevention is necessary,” he said.

He advised those who experience influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches to rest and isolate to protect other family members against the virus or bacteria.

“Within or less than seven days, the symptoms would eventually go away,” Bobis added. (PNA)