Gear up for flu season, public told

PETALING JAYA - The sniffles are fast becoming a common sound in schools and offices in the Klang Valley.

In fact, we are well under way for the flu season, which hits Malaysia usually in mid-year.

However, the cases so far have registered only a minor blip in the Health Department's radar.

Department director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said government clinics only saw a 0.57% increase while hospitals in the Klang Valley saw an increase of 6%.

"The figures are well below our alert threshold of 10%.

"Therefore, our surveillance doesn't show an outbreak of influenza-like illness (ILI) or influenza," he told The Star.

He also said the virus currently circulating was the less virulent Influenza B virus, but noted that there was no circulation of the virus that causes common cold.

However, Dr Hasan advised those down with the flu to be responsible and stay at home.

If an individual has symptoms and signs of influenza (such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing), he or she is advised to seek early treatment at the nearest health facility.

Meantime, he also urged Malaysians to maintain a high level of personal hygiene and wash their hands with soap and water regularly.

Continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle such as having a balanced diet, drinking enough fluids, exercising regularly and having adequate rest, he said.

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