MOH confirms cluster of influenza cases in Pasir Ris pre-school

There are three seasonal influenza strains in Singapore - H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B. The Ministry did not confirm which strain the children were infected with but noted that the "public should not be alarmed".

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Here is the press release from MOH in full:

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been notified of a cluster of 8 children (out of an enrolment of 56) with influenza and another 10 children with influenza-like symptoms, at ACES Montessori Kidz (Downtown East). Two children were admitted for observation and discharged two days later. The other 16 children either self-medicated or received outpatient medical treatment. The children are currently recovering. MOH has provided advice to the centre on infection control measures.

The public should not be alarmed. Influenza is generally a mild illness that results in full recovery, though there may sometimes be complications such as pneumonia. There are three seasonal influenza strains that circulate year-round in Singapore - influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B. These strains are also circulating throughout the world. There has been no evidence to suggest an increase in virulence of the influenza A(H1N1) virus.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended to protect against influenza, particularly for children aged 6 months to 5 years, adults aged 65 years and older, and individuals with chronic illnesses.

To minimise the spread of influenza, members of the public should practise good personal hygiene and social responsibility. MOH urges parents of children not to bring their child to school, or any other crowded public places, if their child is exhibiting influenza symptoms, and to seek medical attention early if their child is unwell. Adults who are ill should also stay home from work and avoid crowded places when sick.

Parents and adults looking after children should ensure that children and adults alike maintain good personal hygiene practices which include:

Washing hands with soap or alcohol-based hand cleaner when the hands have come into contact with saliva or nose drainage (e.g. after they have sneezed or coughed onto their hands; or after wiping the child's nose or mouth).

Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throwing the tissue away into a bin immediately.

Cleaning frequently touched surfaces, toys and commonly shared items at least daily and when visibly soiled by saliva or nose drainage.