Flu outbreak!

Bame Piet
ON THE RISE: Over 40,000 flu cases reported

MoH records 44k Plus cases of Flu

Ministry not aware of two Flu-related deaths

A massive flu outbreak has sent shockwaves through Botswana, with a staggering 44,007 cases reported since the beginning of May.

The surge in flu cases has left citizens in a state of panic, although, thankfully, no deaths have been officially recorded.

Botswana Public Health Institute (BPHI) spokesperson Treasure Mothobi assured the public, “There have been no flu-related deaths reported since the beginning of May,” countering the recent wave of unconfirmed reports circulating on social media about fatalities linked to the flu.

- Advertisement -

Rumors have been flying, with one unverified report claiming a middle-aged man collapsed and died while consulting a doctor for flu symptoms.

Another story tells of a middle-aged woman allegedly succumbing to the flu in Gaborone. Despite these alarming tales, the BPHI has maintained that there have been no confirmed flu-related deaths.

“Since the beginning of May, our surveillance data has indicated an increase in Influenza-like Illness (ILI) cases, particularly during the winter season, which is typically associated with a higher incidence of respiratory infections,” explained Mothobi. “Despite this increase in ILI cases, it is noteworthy that no fatalities have been attributed to flu-related illnesses during this period.”

The BPHI credits the low death rate to robust public health interventions, such as public awareness initiatives, early detection, and timely medical treatment protocols. Mothobi highlighted the importance of increased access to healthcare services, including antiviral treatments, in managing and mitigating the severity of flu cases.

In addition to medical treatments, the BPHI has emphasized the role of community engagement and vigilant surveillance in controlling the outbreak. “While the current data is encouraging, it is essential to maintain vigilance and continue implementing effective public health strategies to ensure the ongoing protection of the population, particularly as we navigate through the winter season,” said Mothobi.

Amidst concerns over more severe flu strains, the BPHI confirmed that there are no reported cases of H1N1 or Swine Flu in Botswana. “As of now, there are no reported cases of H1N1 flu in Botswana. However, there have been reported cases in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the broader Africa region,” stated Mothobi.

- Advertisement -

The BPHI acknowledged that Swine Flu has been reported in various parts of the world but reassured the public that there have been no cases in Botswana or the surrounding regions. “Despite the presence of H1N1 cases globally, there have been no reported cases in Botswana, the SADC region, or the Africa region to date. This indicates that the virus has not yet reached our region or has been effectively controlled to prevent local transmission,” Mothobi explained.

In response to the surge in ILI cases, the BPHI conducted an epidemiological investigation from May 13 to May 31, 2024 (Epidemiological weeks 19-21).

This investigation aimed to identify the characteristics of the ILI cases, determine the demographics of the affected population, and provide evidence-based recommendations for controlling and preventing the spread of ILIs.

Leave a comment