Doctors Report Fewer Flu Cases This Season

DUBAI - Improved personal hygiene and heightened awareness have contributed to a fall in the number of flu cases during the onset of winter, say doctors.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Sun 6 Dec 2009, 12:06 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:26 AM

They, however, feel that a spike in seasonal flu and H1N1 cases is expected in another couple of weeks when winter reaches its peak and holidaymakers return from vacation.

“Typical viral fever is down this year and the general patient turnover is also low,” said Dr Ashok Cherian, general practitioner at Al Rafa Clinic in Dubai International City.

“I can attribute this to better hygiene conditions such as use of hand sanitisers due to fear of H1N1,” he explained.

Dr Cherian also said that due to awareness about the H1N1 virus, parents were being extra careful about the general health of their children.

Similar views were expressed by Dr Suresh Menon from Jebel Ali Hospital. “There is no dramatic increase in flu cases this year and this could be due to several reasons, including extra precautions and a considerable number of people being on leave,” said Dr Menon.

The hospital’s emergency unit has seen a drop in the number of flu cases from 25 to 15 a day this year.

“This winter season is particularly important since there is a fear of further spread of the novel flu,” said the doctor. “However we will not know the implications from the Haj and holiday season for another two to three weeks,” he added.

According to Dr Dariush Kamali, general practitioner from Med Specialist Centre in Bur Dubai, the number of flu cases remained as always.

“I see two-three cases daily which is a normal turnout,” he said, adding that

it was difficult to differentiate between H1N1 and seasonal flu.

“There may be an increase in the number of H1N1 cases during this season, but we cannot be too sure until the confirmatory tests are done,” he pointed out.

The World Health Organisation has warned that cases of H1N1 could spike during the winter season while virus mutation with seasonal flu virus could also have deadly consequences.

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