MIRI: Influenza, though similar to flu or the usual upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), can develop into a more serious illness if left untreated, says Miri Hospital consultant physician Dato Dr Fam Tem Lom.
Dato Dr Fam Tem Lom
He said those aged 60 and above, elderly folk with lung problems, chronic illness patients, as well as children are considered high-risk and need to look out for any symptoms of influenza.
“The symptoms of influenza include patients feeling very ill with high-grade fever that would come and go just like dengue fever. The infected person could be diagnosed by nasal swab or taking rapid test for influenza A and B for confirmation.
“As influenza is a very strong type of URTI, some patients may present with wheezing and tightness of chest. If the situation gets worse, the patient will even need intubation to relieve their condition,” he said when met yesterday.
Dr Fam added that while vaccination is the best prevention, the current unavailability of flu vaccination means it is best to avoid crowded places.
“Prevention is always better than treatment, therefore, when dealing with people on a day-to-day basis, it is advisable to use strict precautions and proper mask for protection,” he said.
For those who come into contact with the virus, he said it is best to seek professional medical advice and imperative that one takes the prescribed medication.
He said although there have been several cases of influenza in Miri, the overall situation is still under control but advised parents who are worried about their children’s health to get them to wear a face mask when coming into contact with other people.
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