No Influenza Outbreak, Says National Institute For Communicable Diseases

Influenza Outbreak

JOHANNESBURG – Despite the increased number of influenza cases in Gauteng, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday its surveillance programmes show that there is no outbreak.

Earlier this week, a Krugersdorp school closed four days before the end of the school term after at least 25% of the pupils were absent due to illness.

However, the institute said this year’s transmission ratings had been higher compared to previous years.

The first level of measurement is transmission, which looks at how many people have been infected with influenza. The severity and impact are also measured by looking at the number of hospital cases recorded.

The institute’s Cheryl Cohen said there was no cause for major concern.

“When we look at the impact, the level is moderate. What this means is that this is very similar to what we’ve seen in previous years. So, while there is quite a lot of flu around, and it is in the high range. If we look at the seriousness, it still is within what we would normally expect to see,” said Cohen.

The institute also warned against labelling influenza as swine flu.