Nearly 270 000 people have contracted influenza (flu) countrywide this year with more than 17 000 cases reported last week alone.
According to the National Health Report Week 29, 17 856 flu cases were reported last week, a figure almost double the 10 447 cases recorded during the same week last year.
By this time last year more than 181 549 flu cases had been reported.
Dr Portia Manangazira, director of epidemiology and disease control in the Health and Child Care Ministry, encouraged people with flu to visit their nearest health centres for medical attention. “With influenza we can only treat the symptoms and not the bug, hence we are making a call to the nation to visit health centres as soon as they realiee they have caught flu,” she said.
“The flu bug has a high strain that it may take a patient at least three weeks to heal, but it varies with individuals.”
Influenza is a viral infection that attacks one’s respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs). The flu virus travels through the air in droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Common signs and symptoms of flu include fever, aching muscles, chills and sweats, headaches, fatigue and weakness, dry coughs and nasal congestion.
Every winter season, many people in the country experience the symptoms of colds and influenza.