No official stats on influenza as more people seek treatment nationwide

Schools are on the alert for students showing symptoms of influenza-like illnesses.

GEORGE TOWN: Influenza A is not a notifiable sickness at the moment.

As such, there are no official or latest statistics on the disease despite it spreading widely among the populace at present and causing a spike in demand for vaccines.

A spokesman to the health minister today said there were no official statistics on Influenza A cases.

The spokesman said the disease was not included as a statistic under federal disease control laws in place.

“Influenza A is a disease that is not notifiable under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. So, we do not have figues for the number of cases in the country,” the spokesman told FMT when contacted.

Johor health director Dr Aman Rabu also confirmed that it was not an illness that needs to be reported to the ministry.

“Despite that, we will monitor such cases to prevent its spread.”

On Jan 14, the ministry had said it was monitoring influenza-like illnesses (ILI) at “sentinel” locations throughout the country. It said there was no cause for alarm as ILI was seasonal in the country and was not at an alarming level.

Based on data from several state education departments in the country, it appears there has been an uptick in the number of influenza cases among students.

There were 178 cases in Penang, including seven hospitalised, while 79 students were infected in Perak, with the highest number reported in the Kinta district, Bernama reported.

The news agency also reported that Selangor had 548 cases of ILS. In Johor, nine children, including two infants, were reported to have been confirmed with Influenza A.

Eight other adults in the southern state were also reported to have come down with similar symptoms.