Thursday, July 25, 2024

Update On Influenza In Zambia

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In a press briefing held by Health Minister Sylvia Masebo, several critical updates on the status of influenza in Zambia were shared.

Minister Masebo reported an observed upsurge in respiratory infections, including influenza-like illnesses, based on monitored trends. Over the past four weeks, 373 samples were collected from influenza surveillance sites in Chipata, Livingstone, Lusaka, Nakonde, Ndola, and Solwezi. Of these, 35 samples (9%) tested positive for influenza. The breakdown revealed that 15 of the positive samples were from individuals aged 18-49, while 13 were from children under 5 years old. Notably, no samples from individuals aged 50 and above tested positive.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It spreads mainly through respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes and through close contact such as hugs and handshakes. The virus can also survive on surfaces for a short period.

Minister Masebo highlighted that while anyone can be infected with influenza, the severity and risk of complications vary significantly. High-risk groups include young children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and weakened immune systems. Currently, Zambia does not include influenza vaccines in its national immunization schedule.

In related news, Zambia has recorded a slight increase in weekly positivity rates for COVID-19, rising from 1.5% to 2.8%. Out of 322 samples tested for COVID-19, nine (2.8%) were positive. Between May and June, 3,070 samples were collected and tested, with 74 samples (2.4%) testing positive. The positive samples were distributed as follows: 43 from Lusaka, 9 from Copperbelt, 7 from Southern, 6 each from Central and Luapula, 2 from Eastern, and 1 from Northern. No positive cases were recorded in Muchinga and Western provinces. Cumulatively, from January to June this year, Zambia recorded 4,770 COVID-19 cases, with the top five districts being Chingola (478), Lusaka (451), Kabwe (433), Kalulushi (213), and Chililabombwe (196).

Minister Masebo strongly encouraged those not yet vaccinated to get immunized to protect themselves against severe disease and adverse outcomes.

6 COMMENTS

    • I get the feeling they want to hide Covid figures or something. Influenza is a very common disease all over the world and we never even report about it. In fact what is interesting in this entire report is the fact that noone over 50 tested positive for it. That is what reporters should have focused on and sought answers for but we like focusing on catastrophy.

  1. The influenza cases were few yet she decided to talk about influenza first and also any death have been recorded. They will be denial until cases escalated. I remember one the liar who said covid was a scam but have his children vaccinated

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  2. COVID-19 is back and lethal. Take care of yourself. It’s devastating. Don’t be misled by this statement. You’re on your own

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