The first wave of seasonal flu outbreaks usually peak starting late winter months and goes on till the onset of summer. Furthermore, for your information, NEWARS has already recorded a Flu outbreak this month. In this regard, all health centers are requested all to step up surveillance and vigilance towards Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI). As such, we would like to request all our health centers to kindly observe the following:
- Monitor weekly trend of SARI and ILI;
- Start separate flu clinic for ILI patients so that they don’t mix with other patients in the hospital;
- Isolate SARI cases;
- Sensitize all the health workers in your health center on respiratory/cough etiquette, handwashing and social distancing;
- Also advise health workers dealing with the ILI and SARI patients to practice universal precautionary measures including use of face mask and hand gloves;
- Since children under 5 years, elderly (65+ years), pregnant women and immunocompromised patients (those suffering from Asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, kidney diseases, HIV/AIDS and cancer patients) are among the high-risk groups, extra attention and care needs to be rendered to them;
- Ask local/community leaders to report on any influenza outbreaks in their community to the nearest health center;
- As usual, kindly report on any case of SARI and ILI to NEWARSIS/RCDC via website http://www.rcdc.gov.bt; and
- Contact Mr. Binay Thapa, Chief Laboratory Officer, RCDC #17562422 for lab support and diagnosis.
Your timely intervention and cooperation in this matter will help prevent outbreaks and save lives.
(Dr Ugen Dophu)