MESSAGE FROM CMO DR. HAZEL LAWS ON INFLUENZA (FLU) SEASON

We are in the middle of the Influenza (flu) season which occurs anywhere from November of each
year to March of the following year. Influenza (flu) is an acute and very contagious respiratory
tract infection caused by influenza type A (H1N1 & H3N2) and type B viruses circulating in our
Federation, in the region and all parts of the world. The influenza virus causes mild to very severe
illness and, at times, can lead to death.
The flu usually comes on suddenly within one (1) to four (4) days after becoming infected. Persons
who have the flu often experience some or all of the following symptoms:
• fever
• sore throat
• coughing
• stuffy or runny nose
• Muscle and joint pains (body aches)
• headache and sometimes dizziness
• chills
• Loss of taste sensation and appetite
• malaise & fatigue
• sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting.
Most persons recover from these flu symptoms within one (1) week. However, some persons are
at high risk of progressing and developing complications of the flu like ear infection, sinus
infection, lung infection or pneumonia, and even worsening of underlying chronic medical
conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes, which can be fatal.