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Flu is spiking in South Africa, especially over the past 2 weeks - NICD

19 November 2021 1:23 PM
Tags:
Flu
Influenza
Mandy Wiener
The Midday Report
National Institute for Communicable Diseases
epidemiology
Sibongile Walaza

Mandy Wiener interviews Dr Sibongile Walaza, an epidemiologist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
  • Influenza cases started rising at the end of August but have been spiking in the past two weeks

  • People at risk of getting severe Covid are also at risk of getting severe influenza


Influenza has been almost entirely absent from South Africa - and the world - ever since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, however, it’s making its comeback, boosted by the relaxation of measures to combat Covid-19, and by immune systems that have not seen flu in a long time.

The flu is back. © subbotina/123rf.com

RELATED: Flu makes a comeback in South Africa - after disappearing for nearly two years


The NICD says it is seeing influenza clusters in schools and workplaces in five provinces.

Mandy Wiener interviewed Dr Sibongile Walaza, Epidemiologist at the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis at National Institute for Communicable Diseases (scroll up to listen).

We are seeing an increase in influenza cases… especially in the past two weeks… In other years, we would have flu during the winter months. But for the past two years, we haven’t seen much flu in circulation…

Dr Sibongile Walaza, epidemiologist - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

With people relaxing more… it contributes to influenza…

Dr Sibongile Walaza, epidemiologist - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Symptoms are similar for influenza and Covid-19… Loss of taste or smell is more common in Covid…

Dr Sibongile Walaza, epidemiologist - National Institute for Communicable Diseases

People should get the influenza vaccine… The same people at risk of having severe Covid are at increased risk when they have influenza.

Dr Sibongile Walaza, epidemiologist - National Institute for Communicable Diseases



19 November 2021 1:23 PM
Tags:
Flu
Influenza
Mandy Wiener
The Midday Report
National Institute for Communicable Diseases
epidemiology
Sibongile Walaza

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