BAGUIO CITY – Influenza like-illness in the Cordillera, for the first forty weeks of this year, totaled eight thousand one hundred thirty-eight cases, five percent lower compared to the eight thousand five hundred thirty eight cases recorded by the health department during the same period last year.
Based on a report obtained from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Cordillera office of the health department (DOH-RESU), there were no deaths recorded due to the influenza-like illness for the two reckoning periods when the said reports were taken.
The DOH-CAR stated the influenza-like illness were from Benguet with 2,540 cases or 31.2 percent of the total number of cases reported during the period; Baguio City – 1,331 cases or 16.4 percent; Kalinga – 1,252 cases or 15.4 percent; Ifugao – 953 cases or 11.7 percent; Abra – 713 cases or 8.8 percent; Apayao – 643 cases or 7.9 percent; Mountain Province – which accounted for 6.3 percent of the total number of cases and non-CAR provinces – 194 cases or 2.4 percent.
Geeny Anne Austria of the DOH-RESU, revealed there were 4,150 females who contracted the influenza-like illness that represent 51 percent of the total number of individuals who contracted the illness during the aforesaid reckoning period.
Further, experts disclosed the age range of the individuals that contracted the illness were from 3 days to 96 years old with a median of 9 years old.
She claimed there were alleged laboratory confirmed influenza cases in the different parts of the region and clustering of the said illness was also reported in all the Cordillera provinces during the prescribed reporting period.
Influenza-like illness (ILI), also known as acute respiratory infection (ARI) and flu-like syndrome/symptoms, is a medical diagnosis of possible influenza or other illness causing a set of common symptoms.
Symptoms commonly include fever, shivering, chills, malaise, dry cough, loss of appetite, body aches, and nausea, typically in connection with a sudden onset of illness. In most cases, the symptoms are caused by cytokines released by immune system activation, and are thus relatively non-specific.
Common causes of ILI include the common cold and influenza, which tends to be less common but more severe than the common cold. Less-common causes include side effects of many drugs and manifestations of many other diseases
Technically, any clinical diagnosis of influenza is a diagnosis of ILI, not of influenza. This distinction usually is of no great concern because, regardless of cause, most cases of ILI are mild and self-limiting. Furthermore, except perhaps during the peak of a major outbreak of influenza, most cases of ILI are not due to influenza. ILI is very common: in the United States each adult can average 1–3 episodes per year and each child can average 3–6 episodes per year.
Austria urged the public to keep their immune systems strong by eating the right kind of food to combat illnesses that will compromise their health in the future.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo: By ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS