The General Directorate of Epidemiology indicated in its December 11 bulletin that hospitals nationwide have treated nearly 300,000 suspected cases of influenza in the previous four weeks, with as many as 63,000 cases over the prior week. Health officials report the ongoing outbreak includes cases of Influenza A (H1N1) and Influenza B. Additionally, authorities have recorded at least 46 cases of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI); total number of cases increased to 1799 year-to-date.
Influenza is a contagious virus that can spread from human to human. Symptoms include high fever, aching muscles, headache, and respiratory issues. Particularly vulnerable individuals include young children, the elderly, pregnant women, the obese, and individuals suffering from chronic diseases. An annual vaccine is available.
Individuals in the Dominican Republic are advised to take preventive measures to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading communicable diseases (e.g. wash hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid contact with sick individuals, etc.) and consult a medical professional regarding influenza vaccination options.