Health exco: Respiratory illnesses in Johor up to 1,531 from 570 last year

JOHOR BARU: Johor recorded an increase in respiratory infections, with 1,531 cases up to the 31st epidemiological week (ME31, July 31-Aug 6) compared to 574 in the same period last year.

State health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the number of outbreak clusters as of ME27 also showed an increase with 18 compared to eight in the same period last year.

"Most of the clusters reported involve educational institutions, or 77.8%," he said in a statement Monday (Aug 8).

Ling said there has been an increase in cases and outbreaks of respiratory tract infections, namely influenza-like-illness (ILI) and upper respiratory tract illness (URTI) in the state.

He said monitoring carried out by the state Health Department on ILI and URTI cases found that the situation was under control, although several clusters were detected involving boarding schools.

"The public is advised to take preventive measures by practising high levels of personal hygiene such as frequent hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitisers," said Ling.

He also advised the public to practise good coughing etiquette by covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, either with a tissue or a face mask.

"Stay at least one metre away from individuals who have symptoms, and avoid visiting places if you have symptoms," he added.

He also encouraged those with symptoms to get influenza vaccination at a private health facility.

Ling said the Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and trend of ILI and URTI cases, and work with the relevant parties to ensure that control and prevention measures are carried out accordingly.

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