With a considerable increase in recorded influenza cases in the country since September, the health ministry has issued a warning of a probable influenza outbreak if measures to prevent the spread are not implemented.
According to data released by the health ministry on Tuesday, the positivity rate for influenza was 40% in October, with an abnormally high number of influenza cases recorded in the Greater Male region, particularly Hulhumale.
During a press conference held by the health ministry, Dr Ibrahim Afzal stressed the importance of taking safety precautions in light of the recent increase in influenza infections.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) had urged people to be cautious and practise proper hygiene to prevent illness transmission. Since COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold are all respiratory diseases, the HPA emphasised the need of maintaining the same methods used to reduce COVID-19 transmission, including wearing a mask.
Furthermore, the influenza A virus was found in the most analysed samples in the Maldives, followed by the influenza B virus and the influenza A(H3) virus. In addition, samples that tested negative for influenza are being retested for other types of influenza viruses.
The age group between 18 and 45 years old had the highest number of recorded influenza cases, followed by children.
Dr. Afzal urged people in high-risk groups, as well as children, to avoid congested areas to minimize disease transmission. He also advised avoiding going out unless absolutely essential.