The 971 Report

Sharp rise in UAE flu cases

The flu season is underway and the cases have increased by about 15 to 20%, up from six weeks ago. Experts in preventive medicine have adviced vaccinations against flu and its complications, local daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.

Several residents in the emirate are hit by the seasonal influenza virus, complaining of symptoms like cough, headache, fever, sore throat and aching musles and joints. The flu vaccine may not protect a person completely from the flu virus, but it decreases the symptoms and duration, the report said.

Dubai Health Authority advises two vaccines — influenza and pneumococcal. Referred to as flu and pneumo jabs, these can potentially save a person’s life, the daily reported  citing Dr Fatma Al Attar, consultant family physician and head of the Preventive Services Centre at DHA.

The seasonal flu activity lasts from September till February said the Preventive Services Centre.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two main types of influenza (flu) virus - types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses are responsible for the seasonal flu expidemics each year, the report said.

The daily claimed that it had reported in September that seasonal flu cases were expected to rise by about 15-20% due to changing weather.

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