Long lines at the Belau National Hospital emergency room over the weekend and at the private clinics testify to the outbreak of flu in the country.
Over 10 cases per day over the past week prompted an outbreak announcement from the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MHHS) on Tuesday, July 12th.
Notification explained that contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses is spreading throughout the community and people should take precautions to protect their family members, especially the immune-compromised, children and the elderly.
The virus spreads through coughs, sneezes, and physical contact with somebody who has the flu. “Illness is typically mild, but can be severe in higher risk groups which include, the elderly, children, and those with immuno-compromised health conditions,” MHHS explains.
Symptoms are typical flu symptoms such as fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue (tiredness) Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
To protect oneself, MHHS recommends getting the annual flu vaccine when available. For now, it reminds people to practice health safety measures, such as wash hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and avoid contact with sick people. Also wear mask when around others to prevent from getting the flu.

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