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Province of South Cotabato

Consistent Levels of Influenza-Like Illness Cases Emphasize Ongoing Need for Public Health Measures

The Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit has reported a staggering 4,505 cases of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) from January 1 to December 2, 2023. This marks a significant 148% increase compared to the same period last year, underscoring the severity of the current situation.

The age distribution of reported cases ranged from 21 days old to 93 years, with a median age of 6 years. Notably, more than half of the cases were female, accounting for 50.9% of the total reported cases.

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Provincial Health Officer, urged the public to practice health protocols.

“Thirteen deaths have been reported, with five occurring in Ned, Lake Sebu, and eight in Salacafe, T’boli,” he stressed.

The majority of cases (99.5%) were categorized as suspected, while the remaining 0.5% were confirmed cases. All confirmed cases were positive for the Influenza B virus and originated exclusively from Ned, Lake Sebu, and Tboli.

T’boli has emerged as the epicenter of the outbreak, reporting the highest number of cases at 25%. Disturbingly, clustering of cases has been identified in 12 barangays of Banga, 6 barangays of Koronadal, 4 barangays of Lake Sebu, 3 barangays of Norala, 6 barangays of Surallah, 6 barangays of Tampakan, and 4 barangays of T’boli.

Furthermore, the epidemiological data reveals that cases from Morbidity Week 2 to 48 have consistently surpassed the Alert Threshold. Specific weeks, including Morbidity Week 10 to 12, MW 15, MW 20-35, MW 37, MW 40-41, and MW 45, have reached the epidemic threshold, indicating a critical need for intensified public health measures.

Health authorities are urging the public to remain vigilant, follow recommended preventive measures, and seek medical attention promptly if experiencing symptoms associated with Influenza-Like Illness. The situation is evolving, and proactive efforts are crucial to curbing the spread of the illness and preventing further fatalities.

“Wear mask especially in crowded place, wash your hands before touching your face and practice social distancing,” he added.

 

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